News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 5, 2013

Three fires, including an arson, keep THFD busy


The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A fire at Deming Park on Thursday morning was the latest spark in a series of arsons battled by the Terre Haute Fire Department.

Arson investigator Norm Loudermilk told the Tribune-Star that at about 8:15 a.m., a set fire was discovered in the women’s restroom, located west of the park swimming pool.

Fire Chief Jeff Fisher said only minor damage occurred to the cinderblock building. It appeared paper towels or toilet paper had been ignited.

Another fire occurred around 2:30 a.m. when firefighters were called to a residence in the 1600 block of Spruce Street.

Loudermilk said that the occupant of the home awoke to smoke, and found that a space heater had caught fire. The occupant tried to put out the fire, but it spread and he was forced to flee the home.

Firefighters arrived to find the home fully involved in the fire. Flames spread to a house next door, Fisher said, but firefighters were able to contain that blaze and save the structure.

About an hour later, THFD firefighters were called to a vacant house on North 15th Street near Tippecanoe. Loudermilk said that house was vacant, and had no electricity.

An investigation into the cause of that fire continues, but he speculated that fire might have began either accidentally by someone squatting inside the home and trying to stay warm, or by someone who intentionally set the fire.

Anyone with information about suspicious fires is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 238-STOP to provide information.