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updated: 7/1/2011 9:50 AM

2 accused of setting fires in Cairo

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Associated Press

CAIRO -- Two men who helped Cairo's firefighters in battling blazes are accused of setting fires in January in the Alexander County city along the Ohio River.

Twenty-two-year-old David Patrick of Arlington, Ky., and 18-year-old Richard Pitcher of Cairo are charged with arson.

Both men were probationary members of the Cairo Auxiliary Fire Department.

Cairo Fire Chief John Meyer says that's separate from the city's fire department. Meyer says the auxiliary department is called upon to assist city firefighters in certain cases.

Illinois State Police recently were asked to help Cairo authorities solve the more than 40 arson cases that have remained open since 2007.

Patrick and Pitcher couldn't be reached for comment. They don't have listed home telephone numbers, and court records don't show either man having hired an attorney.