The Beacon-News, Aurora, Ill. (TNS)
Jul. 27—Two teenagers have been charged with setting a massive fire in May that destroyed large sections of the former Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.
Two other teens have been charged with trespassing in connection with the incident.
The two boys, one from Carol Stream and one from Wheaton, accused of starting the three-alarm fire have been charged with arson, burglary, criminal damage to property and three counts of criminal trespass, DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office officials said in a news release Wednesday.
The two additional boys, one from Carol Stream and one from Winfield, have been charged with trespassing at the resort, officials said.
Each of the juveniles appeared at a detention hearing Wednesday morning with their parents in front of DuPage County Judge Anthony Coco. The two boys who are accused of starting the fire were detained, while the other two were released to the custody of their parents on home detention and will have to wear GPS monitors.
The boys’ ages range from 14 to 17 years old, officials said. Because they are charged as juveniles, their names will not be released, a common practice in Illinois juvenile courts.
The fire broke out around 4:40 p.m. May 21 and firefighters found large sections of the resort at 4051 E. Main St. in St. Charles engulfed in flames.
More than 100 firefighters from more than 25 fire departments were called to help extinguish the blaze. An investigation was then launched by the St. Charles police and fire departments, the state fire marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The four teens are accused of illegally entering the property and, once inside, two of the teens are accused of setting papers on fire in two locations and then leaving the area without extinguishing the fires, according to the release.
The resort’s main lobby, its Bourbon Street area and A, B and E wings of the hotel rooms at Pheasant Run were destroyed by the fire, but crews were able to save the 16-story tower on the property.
Charges were filed against the four teens on Monday and on Tuesday, the two juveniles facing the more serious charges turned themselves in to authorities, according to the release. The remaining two juveniles were notified of the charges against them and appeared in court Wednesday morning.
The resort closed its doors in March 2020 after attempts to auction the resort were unsuccessful. In November, the St. Charles City Council’s Planning and Development Committee recommended approving a zoning map amendment that would help create a proposed industrial park there.
DuPage State’s Attorney Bob Berlin said for days, 107 firefighters put their lives in danger to control and extinguish the fire.
“It is alleged that the actions of these juveniles progressed from misdemeanor trespassing and vandalism to much more serious and potentially deadly felony criminal charges,” Berlin said in the release. “Thankfully, no one sustained serious injury while battling the fire allegedly set in this case.”
The two detained juveniles are due back in court Aug. 1 and the two remaining juveniles are due back in court Aug. 10.
(c)2022 The Beacon-News (Aurora, Ill.)
Visit The Beacon-News (Aurora, Ill.) at www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/aurora-beacon-news
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.