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Possible arson on Western Avenue

BY Abigail Roberts - ctreport@indy.rr.com

The siding of a house at 212 N. Western Ave caught fire due to a small pile of burning clothing in an alley on the north side of the house, at approximately 7 p.m. Monday.

Noticing the smoke, a passerby notified the owners. According to Prevention Officer Paul David, the owner’s son pulled out a garden hose and extinguished 80 percent of the fire before the Marion Fire Department arrived.

“He had it pretty well knocked with a garden hose,” said Tony Fox, assistant fire chief. “The owner’s son did a great job of reacting to it. The fire hadn’t built up much with him reacting the way that he did ... I released two of the engines when I saw what we had.”

Marion firefighters extinguished the remaining fire in under eight minutes and spent the next 45 minutes removing pieces of siding and using a thermal camera to check charring and ensure no internal extension of the fire.

The total damage amounted to $2,500.

“It was suspicious, right at the base of the house at the wall,” Fox said. “We believe it was intentionally set.”

The clothing did not belong to the house occupants and David noted the peculiarity of the clothing being used to start the fire.

Marion firefighters worked on the case until 11 p.m. walking around the neighborhood asking neighbors if they had seen anything out of the ordinary. The firefighters also gave the homeowners a smoke detector to put in their house because they didn’t have one in the basement.

The cause and origin of the fire is still under investigation.