The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation held a press conference today to announce the arrest of two juveniles in connection with a wildfire that wreaked havoc on the resort town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee on the night of Monday, November 28th—destroying hundreds of structures and claiming as many as 14 lives in the process.
The juveniles, whose names have not been released per Tennessee state law, were arrested this morning after a joint investigation with the National Parks Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Sevier County Sheriffs Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
They were charged with Aggravated Arson.
Authorities allege that the two individuals were responsible for igniting a fire in the Chimney Tops area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park on or around November 23 that eventually spread into Gatlinburg and other parts of Sevier County.
“The juveniles are currently being held inside the Sevier County Juvenile Detention Center,” said District Attorney Jimmy Dunn, who is in charge of prosecuting the case.
“Additional charges are being considered and all options available to the state when dealing with juveniles are on the table, including the possibility of seeking a transfer of these juveniles to adult criminal court.”
According to Dunn the juveniles are not natives of Sevier County, but they are residents of the state of Tennessee.
Stay tuned for updates.