Two juveniles face arson charges in deadly Tennesse wildfire

GATLINBURG (WATE) — Two juveniles have been charged with starting the wildfires in Tennesse that left 14 people dead, TBI Director Mark Gwyn announced Wednesday.

The two were arrested Wednesday morning and charged with aggravated arson.

They are being held in the Sevier County Juvenile Detention Center. A detention hearing is scheduled within 72 hours and additional charges could be filed.

Officials say the two had a role in starting the fire on November 23 in the Chimney Tops, which eventually spread to Gatlinburg and the surrounding area, leading to 14 people’s deaths.

District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn says it is being considered whether to transfer the case to adult court. Dunn says the two are from Tennessee, but not from Sevier County.

Governor Bill Haslam said this is the largest fire in 100 years in Tennessee.

Gatlinburg city administrators said any mobile device in Gatlinburg got emergency notice about fire at 9:04 pm Monday. The National Weather Service says no mobile alert went out.

Leaders said they are looking into why some people didn’t get alerts and examining their evacuation procedures.

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