2 juveniles charged in role for starting Tennessee wildfire

Sidney James Mountain Lodge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (Credit: Ashley Biggens via WATE ReportIt!)

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Two juveniles were arrested Wednesday and have been charged for their role in starting the devastating wildfire in Sevier County that killed more than a dozen people.

Authorities said the minors were taken into custody earlier Wednesday and face aggravated arson charges. Additional charges are a possibility.

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

During a brief news conference, officials said the juveniles do not live in Sevier County, but are Tennessee residents.

They remain in custody and will have a hearing within the next 72 hours. It will then be determined if they will be held with or without bond or released.

Information on their identities will not be released.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn offered his condolences to the victims of the deadly wildfire.

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

“We stand with you and are committed to making sure justice is served with this case,” Gwyn said.

Fourteen people were killed and more than 130 others were injured in the wildfire that started on Nov. 28.

Thousands of acres were also burned and more than 1,700 structures were destroyed or damaged.

Fire crews from across the state, including here locally, assisted in the wildfires. Many crews have since returned home.

Gatlinburg is expected to open to the public on Friday for the first time since the fire ripped through the area.

The investigation is ongoing.

Click here for complete coverage of the Sevier County wildfire.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

Never miss another Facebook post from 8News

Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.