Two teen boys have been charged with arson after a portable outhouse was destroyed by fire at Houdlette Field in Richmond on Oct. 21. (Photo courtesy of Katie Keenan)

Two teen boys have been charged with arson after a fire destroyed a portable outhouse in Richmond on Sunday evening.

The fire was reported around 7:45 p.m. inside the outhouse at Houdlette Field, a town-owned recreation area on High Street. Firefighters knocked down the blaze, but the unit was totally destroyed, said Richmond Police Chief Scott MacMaster.

Investigators from the Richmond Police Department and the state fire marshal’s office were able to find physical evidence that allegedly linked the teens to the fire, according to MacMaster.

Among the evidence was video recorded at the Marcia Buker School, which is next to the field. Police also interviewed some witnesses, MacMaster said.

“It’s a community facility that houses our recreational fields,” MacMaster said. “When you have an incident like this, everybody involved has a certain level of sadness incurred because it is juveniles, and it’s a recreational facility, and its sole purpose is to serve kids. It was something we wanted to get resolved sooner rather than later.”

The boys, who are ages 13 and 14, are both from Richmond. They have been charged with arson, a class A felony. One was summonsed. The other was arrested and released to his mother, according to MacMaster.

The handicapped-accessible bathroom had a value of about $1,200, MacMaster said. The town won’t replace it this year because it was already due to be removed at the end of October.

The fire came about two hours after another one was reported on railroad tracks near Fuller Street. Police were able to find evidence that allegedly linked the boys to that fire as well, MacMaster said.

Police now are investigating whether there also is a connection with the outhouse fire and vandalism of the restrooms at Richmond’s waterfront park earlier in the fall. That’s caused about $500-$700 worth of damage to the facility. As a result, it recently has been closed to the public.

After the outhouse was destroyed on Sunday, a couple of local businesses raised more than $100 to be awarded to anyone who has information about the suspects, according to a Facebook post from Quality Landscaping LLC. Before that money can be awarded, MacMaster said, police must now go through the tips they received to see if any helped advance the case.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

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