2 juveniles charged in Tennessee wildfires that killed 14

Sidney James Mountain Lodge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (Credit: Ashley Biggens via WATE ReportIt!)

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities have charged two juveniles with starting an East Tennessee wildfire that killed 14 people and destroyed or damaged more than 1,700 buildings.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, local District Attorney General James Dunn and Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced charges at a news conference Wednesday.

Dunn said the juveniles face aggravated arson charges for the fire in the Chimney Tops area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Nov. 23. The fire spread to the Gatlinburg area, causing widespread damage. They’re being held in the Sevier County juvenile detention center.

They said the juveniles are from Tennessee, but not Sevier County. Officials said state law prevents releasing more information about them.

The investigation is ongoing and more charges could come. They said it’s possible they would move the case into adult courts.

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