Two Teens Charged With Aggravated Arson in Park Fire

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Two Tennessee teenagers face charges of aggravated arson in last week’s wildfire that killed 14 people, injured 176 others, and damaged or destroyed more than 2,400 homes and businesses in the Gatlinburg area, The Tennessean reports. Prosecutor Jimmy Dunn refused to give any details about the case, including the teens’ ages or genders. State law typically denies public access to juvenile records, except in certain cases such as murder or rape. Court records would become public if the cases were transferred to adult criminal  court.

The National Park Service has said the fire that began on the Chimney Tops trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park before spreading to Gatlinburg appeared to have been “human-caused.” The fire burned inside the park for days until Nov. 28, when wind speeds approaching 90 mph spread embers from the then-500-acre blaze for miles.

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