Two juveniles charged with starting E. Tennessee fires that killed 14

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Two juveniles have been charged with starting wildfires in East Tennessee that killed 14 people.

That information was released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation during a news conference in Gatlinburg Wednesday afternoon.

The juveniles are being held in the Sevier County Juvenile Justice Center.

It is possible they will be transferred to adult court.

Both are charged with aggravated arson, but that could change as the investigation continues.

The teens are from Tennessee, but not from Sevier County.

Authorities said they are extremely grateful to all the people who helped them during this time and possibly helped lead to these arrests.

“The public was critical in responding to that tip line and giving investigators something to work with, the tip line had approximately 40 tips with just a few minutes after going online. So number one I want to thank the public, but just as important I want to thank the agencies that assisted the national park service,” said an official with the Park Service.

Multiple agencies are still working to find out exactly where and how this fire started.

Fourteen people were killed and more than 1,500 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed.

Two of those who died, Janet and Jon Summers, were from Memphis.

Their sons are recovering from burns.

Learn more about the fires in East Tennessee

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