Victoria Lunacek

On July 15, 2013,  fire destroyed downtown Prophetstown in northwestern Illinois. Two boys were charged with starting the blaze. The small community has spent the last five years re-building from the devastation. On this week's Friday Forum, WNIJ's Jenna Dooley heads back to Prophetstown for an update.

Rock River Ride Day 4: Oregon To Prophetstown

Jun 14, 2018
Carl Nelson

A strange night for me last night: camped at home with my own warm shower (I’d give me a positive review), but also still on the ride with Carl, who slept in our basement and ate fresh eggs from our chickens and tortillas from a grocery store.

Judge Orders Restitution For Prophetstown Fire

Aug 13, 2014
Chelsey Fulbright / WNIJ

A judge has ordered two young brothers to pay more than $2,000 in restitution for setting a 2013 fire that destroyed a large portion of downtown Prophetstown, Illinois.

Chelsey Fulbright / WNIJ

Two young brothers have pleaded guilty to starting the fire which destroyed a large portion of downtown Prophetstown last summer. Rebuilding is still underway for several displaced occupants, including the Prophetstown Historical Society.

Chelsey Fulbright / WNIJ

One of the brothers accused of setting a fire that burned down much of downtown Prophetstown pleaded guilty Tuesday to arson.

Sauk Valley Media reports the boy was sentenced to 5 years of probation. 18 other charges against him were dismissed.

Credit Chelsey Fulbright / WNIJ

Six months ago this week, residents in Prophetstown woke up to find part of their downtown destroyed by fire.  In July, broken glass and rubble replaced familiar businesses. Eight buildings in all were destroyed. Authorities say the fire was set in a recycling bin behind a restaurant. Two half-brothers are charged with arson. The will have another hearing next week in Whiteside County.

Mayor Steve Swanson says things are moving along smoothly.

"I think by the first of May we will see some nails being pounded here," Swanson said.

Chelsey Fulbright / WNIJ

Clean-up continues in Prophetstown after a fire destroyed portions of the downtown earlier this month. 

Broken bricks and charred wood cover the ground in the city's downtown weeks after the devastating blaze. Eight buildings were destroyed, but no one was injured.

This week, city leaders and residents heard from representatives of NIU's Center for Governmental Studies. The Center's Norman Walzer spoke to the group about some of the resources available.