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2 teens accused of escaping cells, starting fire in Juvenile Detention Center kitchen

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — Two teenagers already in custody at the Juvenile Detention Center in Marion County are now facing felony arson charges.

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According to the Ocala Police Department, both teens escaped from their cells at the Juvenile Detention Center Monday and started a fire in the facility’s kitchen.

Police say a 15-year-old detainee at the JDC used a key to unlock his cell shortly before 1 a.m. Monday, then opened a 16-year-old detainee’s cell. Police have not said how the teen acquired the key.

READ: Mom of farmworker killed in Marion County bus crash pleads for safe return of son’s body

According to the police department, both teens then made their way into the JDC’s kitchen and intentionally started a fire on a gas stove.

Surveillance video released by the police department shows both teens tossing items onto the stove in an attempt to feed the flames.

Marion County detention deputies eventually arrived and extinguished the fire before it could spread beyond the stove.

READ: Volusia County corrections officer arrested on felony charges, deputies say

An Ocala police officer arrested both teens on charges of felony arson before they were released back to the Juvenile Detention Center.

There were no injuries reported.

This story is developing. Please stay with WFTV as more information comes into our newsroom.

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