- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

STERLING, Ill. (AP) - A teenager was sentenced to five years of probation for starting a fire last summer that destroyed much of downtown Prophetstown.

The 17-year-old was sentenced Tuesday in Sterling after he pleaded guilty to arson charges. He cried during court proceedings and apologized.

Authorities say the teenager, who was 16 when the fire was started, will also have perform 200 hours of community service.

The teen’s 12-year-old brother pleaded guilty to arson in January and was sentenced to five years of probation.

The two set fire to a recycling bin by a library, before starting another fire behind a restaurant. It was that fire that spread, ultimately destroying eight historic buildings and damaging two others, leaving about half a dozen people homeless.

The fire caused up to $3 million in damages.

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