Arson destroyed the site of a historic Minnesota creamery, and authorities say kids are to blame.
The long-vacant Rush City Creamery burned for several hours in the afternoon on Nov. 12. Five fire departments responded to fight the flames, according to a tweet from the Chisago County Sheriff's Office.
The sheriff's office also asked for the public's help, offering a reward up to $5,000 for information that would help them identify the suspect(s).
Then Friday, they announced the investigation of the fire had been completed, and that the suspects were identified as 12-year-olds. For that reason, their names will not be released.
Authorities didn't mention how many kids were involved, and the amount of damages is still being determined. The county attorney's office will take the case from here and decide what type of punishment fits the crime, the Star Tribune said.
A local farmer told the paper that the creamery was built in 1921 and had been vacant since the late 1990s.
The sheriff's office also thanked everyone who sent in tips.
Unfortunately, kids do this a lot
It's not uncommon for kids to set fires – juveniles are arrested for more than half of the arson cases in Minnesota, according to a brochure from the Department of Public Safety.
That's because kids are naturally curious about fire, the DPS says. But when curiosity turns experimental, things can get dangerous – more than 50 percent of children who die in fires started the fire themselves.
And in the state of Minnesota, if kids (at least 10 years old) damage property while playing with fire, they may be charged with criminal arson – a trend that is rising, the brochure says. In 2010, 100 kids were charged with criminal arson across the state, compared to 65 in 2007.
These arrests are kids over the age of 10, but many more incidents involve younger children. Of the kids that set fires, 75 percent are 10 and under, The US Fire Administration reports.