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September 7, 2013

Cleanup work begins after Prophetstown fire

PROPHETSTOWN, Ill. (AP) — Crews have started cleaning up an area of downtown Prophetstown that was heavily damaged by a fire.

The July blaze destroyed eight buildings in the northern Illinois community, many of which were 150 years old. Work clearing the rubble began Thursday when workers started sorting reusable brick and recyclable material from burned wood and garbage.

Fischer Excavating Inc. in Freeport, Ill., got a $207,000 contract for the cleanup work, which city officials say should take several weeks to complete.

Mayor Steve Swanson says the community plans to rebuild

Two half brothers, 12 and 16, are facing more than a dozen felony charges for the fire. Authorities say it was started in a recycling bin behind a restaurant in the Whiteside County city of 2,000 residents.

The two are charged as juveniles.

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