Village department hones in on suspects in pavilion fire

SALINEVILLE-Village police have confirmed that the fire which destroyed the McCullough Counts Memorial Pavilion in Kiwanis Park last Saturday was set intentionally.

Police Chief Andrew Straley says his department has interviewed four juvenile suspects and anticipates charging at least one with felony-4 arson in the coming days.

Straley said a 13-year-old village resident has confessed to being involved in setting the blaze. However, the suspect is claiming that he and his friends did not intend to burn the pavilion down.

Straley said the juvenile claimed he and three other juveniles were drinking alcohol at the pavilion Friday night when they attempted to light some of the alcohol on fire on the floor of the pavilion.

This caused a blaze larger and more intense than any of the juveniles were anticipating according to Straley.

Straley said that the 13-year-old appears to be remorseful for his actions and has been cooperative.

The other three juvenile suspects have not confessed to their roles in the fire.

Straley said he plans to continue interviews with the four suspects and review surveillance footage from a nearby business for further clues.

“We know that all four were involved, we’re just trying to figure out the extent,” said Straley.