Additional details on fire at former Anna Brown Home not being released

Straightedge Concrete Construction Co. began demolishing the former Anna Brown Home for the Aged Friday, one day after a five-alarm fire destroyed the structure at Fifth and Maple. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)
Posted: Aug. 18, 2012 12:01 am Updated: Nov. 29, 2014 12:15 am


Herald-Whig Staff Writer

While two 11-year-olds were arrested in connection with Thursday's fire at the former Anna Brown Home for the Aged, details on how or where the fire started in the building have not been released.

"The charges were arson," said Quincy Police Lt. Jason Simmons. "That obviously would lead you to believe that it is not an accidental fire."

Simmons declined to elaborate further.

The two juveniles were released to their parents.

Firefighters were dispatched to the large house at 1501 N. Fifth at 5:07 p.m. and arrived to heavy smoke coming from the roof. Smoke was visible for miles as firefighters worked to contain the blaze. Additional units were immediately called in, and firefighters remained on the scene for hours. The house was demolished by crews on Friday.

Police immediately started investigating the fire in the building, which had no utilities hooked up.

The building has been owned by Toni and Neal Hemming since Dec. 31. They hoped to renovate the property for apartments.

The Hemmings said the building has previously been a target for arson, including an attempt in February.

Details on juvenile cases are not publicized.

Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard said he is not allowed to comment on specific cases in Adams County Juvenile Court.

"Juvenile court is more restrictive in terms of publicity for reasons that are grounded in common sense and obvious to us all," he said. "Kids need to have the protection of confidentiality in juvenile court. So I can neither talk about the evidence, the allegations or the disposition."

He said if the evidence in a juvenile case supports an intervention, it could range from the court stepping in and imposing new rules and curfews to a delinquency petition.

"The disposition is different given that it involves children as opposed to adults," he said. "So the sentencing arm of it is strongly emphasized with remedial efforts as opposed to punishment."

Barnard said that juveniles may not be sentenced to state juvenile detention centers unless they are 13 or older.

Juvenile cases are handled by Assistant State's Attorney Jamie Friye.

Illinois law also allows for parents to be held liable for their children's actions.

"It's called the Parental Responsibility Law, and the substance of that law is that parents can be held responsible to pay for expenses incurred, losses incurred, damages incurred as a result of the intentional misconduct of their children," Barnard said.




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