The Office of Illinois State Fire Marshall has ruled the fire that destroyed three Bradford businesses on November 25 was arson.
Investigators confirmed that the fire was a “set fire”, an incendiary arson event. No further details were released.
The state is asking for assistance with any information involving the fire. Anyone that may have seen anything unusual or heard anything prior to the fire or afterwards, is asked to call the Stark County Sheriff’s Office at 286-2541, or the state’s Arson hotline at 1-800-252-2947.
The Office of the State Fire Marshall is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
The fire destroyed Rookies Food and Spirits, Panther General Store, and Ehnle Electric on the night of Nov. 25. Rookie’s and the Panther store were owned and operated by Jill Johnson of Bradford, and Nick Johnson. Nick had recently moved to Kewanee.
It was also noted that fire crews responded several days before the fire to a gas leak in which the gas stove was turned on, but not lit.