News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

August 17, 2013

Terre Haute man arrested on arson charge

TERRE HAUTE — A Terre Haute man has been arrested for a July 18 arson in which at Terre Haute firefighter was injured.

Howard Robert Nicoson, 58, was arrested Thursday for class-A felony arson and  class-C felony burglary. He also faces a habitual offender enhancement, and is being held in the Vigo County Jail with bond set at $100,000.

Arson Investigator Norm Loudermilk told the Tribune-Star that he arrested Nicoson after investigating a fire in the 700 block of South Center Street where a vacant apartment building was heavily damaged.

Loudermilk said a witness confronted a man who was  seen taking scrap items out of the vacant building a few weeks before the fire. The witness said he saw the man again on the day of the fire stripping items from the building, and the witness warned the man again that he would call police about the theft.. A short time later, the fire was reported.

Loudermilk said he had a description of the man and the van he was driving. He said he located a photo of the suspect, whose identity was confirmed by the witness. The investigator also found a record at an area salvage business that the suspect had sold scrap items there, and the van he was driving was identified as well.

A warrant was issued for the burglary of the house and the arson. The arson charge was enhanced to a class-A felony because a firefighter received an injury to his arm.

Nicoson appeared in Vigo Superior Court 6 on Friday, and has a future court date of Feb. 3.

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