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Fire in Quincy, Ill. kills five children; man arrested

By AP/KWMU

Quincy, Ill. – A 27-year-old man from Quincy, Ill. will be in court today (Monday), accused of setting a weekend fire in which five children died.

Zachary Meeks was arrested Sunday on five counts of first-degree murder, one count of aggravated arson and one count of arson. The victims range in age from ten years old to five months old.

Police also say Meeks was recently paroled from prison; the fire was at Meeks' cousin's house.

Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard says he intends to file formal murder and arson charges against Meeks today. Meeks is being held at the Adams County Jail. Prosecutors don't know whether he has an attorney.

The Illinois Department of Corrections says Meeks has several previous felony drug arrests. He was released from prison in December.

Autopsies for the children also are planned for today.

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