Two boys are accused of breaking into an apartment building in Butler that later caught fire last week, city police said this morning.
The suspects, 13 and 16 years old, who authorities did not identify, face charges in Butler County juvenile court of burglary, theft, and reckless endangerment.
Police Capt. David Dalcamo said investigators believe both youths between Sept. 13 and 15 broke into 113 Center Ave. “numerous times.”
He said they stole property but declined to say what items they took. Both boys live near the building.
On Sept. 16, fire erupted in the building’s basement. Jennifer Lacina, the lone tenant, discovered the fire about noon after smelling smoke inside.
Lacina got out unharmed. Her 17-year-old daughter, who lives with her, was at school.
Investigators do not believe the fire was deliberately set and may have been electrical.
“The investigation found evidence of arcing in the ceiling of the basement,” according to Trooper Duwayne Baird of the state police fire marshal’s office in Butler.
Dalcamo said police did not learn of the recent burglaries until after the apartment caught fire.
The fire caused about $5,000 in damage to the basement.