Three juveniles charged with aggravated arson

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Three Rockford kids have been charged with aggravated arson within the last two weeks.

Investigators say the first fire was on Cctober 30th.

It happened at 1605 Ridge Avenue. That fire caused around $1-2,000 in damages. A 15 and a 16 year-old have been arrested and charged with aggravated arson for that fire.

Then, an 11-year-old is charged with aggravated arson after officials say they set fire to a trash can at West Middle School yesterday. Investigators tell us they visit schools regularly to teach kids the dangers of playing with fire.

"A lot of times we find, with the juveniles, that there are a lot of other things going on. When they set fires, especially at a younger age, like 11 years old. Sometimes, with males, it's just that daring consideration, that daring, that maybe even bullying sometimes, but sometimes there are other things going on," says Fire Prevention Coordinator, the Rockford Fire Department, Timothy Morris Jr.

Morris says the Fire Deparment has a Juvenile Fire Starter program for any parents who are worried that their child may be playing around with fire.

The Fire Department released their statistics for this year. They say they had 575 calls for fires in 2016 and 629 already this year. That's a 9% increase.