Frankfort house fire ruled arson

Inspector Ed Cripe confirmed one person is in jail, facing preliminary charges of arson.

Posted: Feb. 21, 2019 10:58 AM
Updated: Feb. 21, 2019 10:54 PM

FRANKFORT, Ind. (WLFI) —A Wednesday morning house fire in Frankfort has been ruled intentionally set, according to Frankfort Fire Assistant Chief Ed Cripe. 

Cripe confirmed one person is in jail, facing preliminary charges of arson.

Firefighters were called to the 900 blocks of Delphi Ave. around 2:45 a.m. Wednesday. That's in a residential area on the north side of the city.

According to fire inspector Jeff Cline, a man called the police to report his house was on fire. When officers arrived, Cline said the man alluded that he may have set the fire himself. Police detained him and questioned him, according to Cline.

When inspectors went through the fire, what was found lined up with what the man told police. Cline said an accelerant was used in the fire.

Firefighters worked for more than three hours to put out the flames.

Cline said the name of the suspect will not be released until formal charges are filed. The man could be charged with a Level 4 Arson, which Cline said was an endangerment to firefighters. Cline said the suspect is currently in the Clinton County Jail.

No injuries were reported.

Neighbors next to and across from the home weigh in on what's happened. Debbie McDole, a neighbor across the street, said she was woken up by her husband. When she stepped outside the fire had escalated. 

"Within 10 minutes it was coming through the roof," said McDole. "I didn't see anything out the front but I believe they had already kind of knocked out that front window. There's a giant hole in the front where the smoke was just rolling out of there"

Many in the neighborhood weren't surprised to see that the house was in the public's eye again. 

"Kind of a common nuisance there's a lot of traffic just kind of in and out," said McDole. "You know I really don't know the people, don't know what they are about. It's just you know, you are a neighbor you are out in the yard. You see things."

Fires like this raise concern, especially during the winter. Neighbors feel there are a lot of fires in this town and they hate hearing the sirens of the fire trucks so often.

"I'm glad nobody was hurt, period," said McDole. "Regardless of either direction. You know fires, especially in the winter time, they are just devastating."

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