© 2024 Peoria Public Radio
A joint service of Bradley University and Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Man and Teen Charged in Springfield Arson

Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD - An adult and an alleged teenage accomplice are charged with setting fire to an abandoned central Illinois food processing plant.

Twenty-four-year-old Richard L. Thomas of Springfield and a 17-year-old boy were charged Wednesday with arson and criminal damage to property in connection with a fire at the abandoned Pillsbury Mills factory.

The State Journal-Register in Springfield reports police and firefighters battled the fire on Nov. 30. The building was deemed unsafe to enter, so crews fought the fire from outside and a stairwell.

The 18-acre plant has been vacant since 2001. There have been complaints of criminal activity, trespassing and piles of debris on plant grounds.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began a nearly $2 million asbestos cleanup of the site in 2017.

It wasn't immediately known if Thomas or the teen have legal representation.


The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.