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Freeburg Fires Suspects Called “Beavis And Butthead”

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) - Two suspects are behind bars and charged with multiple counts of arson in connection with a string of suspected arson fires in St. Clair County, Illinois.

Investigators call the suspects the “Beavis and Butthead” of arsonists, saying they left behind potential evidence at each of the fire scenes.

Authorities credited the actions of a Freeburg area resident who basically made a citizen’s arrest early Thursday morning of the two suspects when he noticed them on his property.

The suspects are identified as Nicholas Haegele, 19, of O`Fallon, Illinois and Bryan Boide, 23, from the Belleville area.

They are charged with six counts of arson.

Investigators believe the two are responsible for several fires recently in the Freeburg area.

There have been a total of seven suspected arson fires since April 23rd.

Haegele and Boide are charged in six of the cases, including a fire at the Freeburg township building and a blaze at a YMCA facility.

All of the fires have been at sheds and barns and have done substantial damage to farm equipment and other items.

Investigators say just after midnight on Thursday, a resident saw a flashlight out in front of his in the Freeburg area. He got his rifle and went out to investigate.

The man confronted the two suspects at gunpoint and held them at a neighbor`s home until police arrived.

The two suspects were taken into custody and are jailed on $1 million bond each.

At this point, the suspects have not been charged in one of the blazes. That blaze is still under investigation.

Authorities say they are not looking for any other suspects. They say the suspects used accelerants found at most of the fire scenes.

Police estimate the damage from the fires at between a million and a million and a half dollars.

Nobody has been hurt.

More coverage: Metro East Police Searching For Suspected Arsonist