October 1, 2014

Teen charged with arson in Jackson County

Police in Jackson County have arrested a teen on charges of arson, after a fire in 2011 that destroyed an iconic building was intentionally set.

According to the criminal complaint, 19-year-old Kyle Rott is accused of starting the fire at the Rustic Mill Bar and Restaurant near Black River Falls in exchange for two cartons of cigarettes. The complaint says Rott and owners of the property had jokingly discussed burning the building down.

Jackson County firefighters were called to the scene late on the night of July 9, 2011 and District Attorney Gerald Fox says authorities realized it was arson almost immediately. Fox says power and the gas at the business had been turned off, and it didn’t take investigators long to figure out “two plus two equals four.” However, he says it took over a year to file charges because of how long was needed to uncover all of the facts in the case, such as how the fire was set and who was involved.

If convicted, Rott faces up to 40 years in prison.

Fox says the teen has been a suspect since early on. He adds that the investigation is continuing and more arrests could be made in the near future.

AUDIO: Brian Brawner reports (1:26)