News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

March 18, 2014

Man arrested after deadly Indiana apartment fire

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A man has been arrested on murder and arson charges in connection to a fire at an Evansville apartment building where three people were found dead, police said early today.

The Evansville Police Department released a statement saying 31-year-old Christopher Compton was arrested after being questioned following the Monday afternoon blaze. Compton was being held without bond at the Vanderburgh County Jail.

An initial court date hasn’t been set, and it wasn’t clear whether Compton had retained an attorney. Police said no other arrests were expected.

Four people were able to jump from a second-story window to escape the blaze, and three of them remain hospitalized, according to police. Two of the injured were airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital, Evansville Chief Fire Marshal Dan Grimm said.

Grimm said four firefighters suffered minor injuries after responding to the fire, which was reported around 4:25 p.m. Monday at the two-story building.

“The fire was very hot and moved very fast,” Grimm told The Associated Press.

The police statement said firefighters found three deceased victims after crews were able to get into an upstairs apartment. No information has been released about those victims. Police said autopsies would be performed Tuesday, and the full police report wouldn’t be released until then to ensure proper notification of the victims’ families.

Few details were released about what led police to Compton, though the police statement said officers “were given information that implicated Compton” shortly after officers arrived on the scene and that he was arrested after being interviewed by detectives.

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