Middle-Schoolers Out Joyriding, Suspected of Firing Flare that Torched Home, Killed 13 Dogs

They were out joyriding in a red Dodge Charger when two kids from East St. Louis -- ages 12 and 13 -- allegedly stopped by a home in rural East Carondelet, Illinois, and fired a flare.

The device caught a shed on fire with the flames quickly moving on to the home. Inside were 13 dogs -- a dozen miniature pinschers and one pit bull. The husband and wife who owned the home said they treated the pets like children.

"When you can't have children, yeah, they really are. They're all I had," Rhonda Tutor told KMOV yesterday.

It took the all-volunteer firefighter crew hours to control the blaze at which point all the animals trapped inside were dead. The middle-schoolers were found nearby and placed in custody.

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