By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — Two men are facing felony arson charges in connection with a blaze that destroyed a storage building at Wausau East High School.
William A. Ritchie, 22, and Jacob J. Kerswill, 19, will make their initial appearances Tuesday in Marathon County Circuit Court, according to a Wausau Police Department news release.
An investigation into the blaze began early Tuesday, Jan. 10, after fire crews and police responded to Coates Lane for a report of a Wausau School District storage building that had burned sometime overnight. The building had also repeatedly been the target of vandalism and graffiti in recent weeks, police said.
In the course of investigation over the last two days, investigators were able to review surveillance camera still images that indicated the fire was related to the graffiti or “tagging” done to the building, police said. A camera captured a vehicle at the storage building in the early morning of Jan. 10, shortly after 1 a.m., which was followed by spray painting to the building, and then a fully involved fire shortly after 3 a.m., according to the release.
As a result of the camera images and citizen tip information, police took both men into custody Thursday afternoon.
Police continue to investigate the incident.