Sentinel Progress

Juveniles charged in mill fire

PICKENS COUNTY — The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has charged two juveniles following the investigation into the circumstances surrounding a fire on July 6 that destroyed an abandoned mill commonly referred to as the Cateechee Mill.

The Sheriff’s Office first received reports of the structure fire at approximately 1:30 p.m. Thursday necessitating the response of multiple fire departments in the effort to extinguish the flames that had fully engulfed the entire facility.

The old Cateechee Mill is on Cateechee Trail not far from the City of Norris. The old facility was not operational.

Detectives from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office investigated several leads that ultimately led to two juveniles who have been identified and charged with the intentional setting of the fire.

Both juveniles have cooperated with authorities and the investigation has determined that the fire occurred after a paper document was lit with a cigarette lighter and thrown onto the floor where the fire ultimately grew and spread throughout the structure.

Both male juveniles — between the ages of 8 and 14 — were released to the custody of their parents pending court proceedings that will be scheduled and heard in Family Court for the charges of third-degree arson and unlawful entry into an enclosed area.

“Thankfully, no one was physically injured as a result of this incident,” Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said. “The public should not lose sight of the fact that Pickens County is blessed to have a population of adolescents that will one day mature and become outstanding citizens for our communities. These two kids obviously made a poor choice and they will have to be held accountable for their actions but that does not prevent us from lifting them in prayer in hopes that others will learn from this clear example of poor judgment.”

The Sheriff’s Office does not expect any additional arrests.

Units from the Norris Fire Department, Central Fire Department, Six Mile Fire Department. Liberty Fire Department and Clemson University Fire Department responded.

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Staff Report