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3 ACCUSED OF SETTING FIRE TO SOUTH PARK AVE. PORCH

Three young people allegedly set a porch afire late Wednesday at 1711 South Park Ave., authorities said.

Alicia Duffy, 18, of Cantwell Drive; Katie Burns, 18, of Arthur Street; and Paul F. Whalen, 22, of Avondale Place, used a Molotov cocktail to set the fire at 11 p.m., according to South District police.

They were arrested on first-degree arson counts, and Ms. Burns and Whalen were also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, police said.

It appears racial motives may have been behind the attack, authorities said. Rafael Laureano of the South Park residence told police that prior to the attack, youths had yelled racial slurs at him.

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