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The Indiana Daily Student

crime & courts

Reward posted for info on arson suspect

The International Association of Arson Investigators is offering reward money of up to $5,000 to anyone who can provide information to help investigators identify a suspect in the recent arson investigation.

Bloomington police and firefighters are investigating four instances of arson in an area a couple miles south of campus.

“We have ruled out all accidental causes in any of the fires,” Bloomington Fire Department Investigator Scott Smith said.

The first fire was set at the Midland Cut Stone site in the 1600 block of South Huntington Drive to an unoccupied building on Feb. 3.

A witness reported seeing a man wearing an orange hat and dark coat in the area shortly after the building was set on fire, Bloomington Police Department Sgt. Joe Crider said.

The next morning firefighters returned to the same building to extinguish yet another fire.

On Feb. 24 just down the road on East Miller Drive firefighters responded to a partially constructed house with “sky high” flames, BFD Captain Tania Daffron said.

The building had no utilities or electricity installed similar to the Midland Cut Stone site building. The fire melted apartment siding at Hunting Gardens Place and peppered a house garage with embers.

On Feb. 28 Bloomington firefighters revisited the Midland Cut Stone site for the third fire reported at that site, accounting for the fourth instance of arson this year.

At the speed the fires spread it had to be accelerated, Smith said. Accelerants were found at the site of the first fire.

Private investigators through State Farm Insurance are investigating the house fire at 936 E. Miller Dr. This is a routine procedure by insurance companies, Smith said.

Investigators have not located a suspect or identified the person seen walking after the first fire was set at South Huntington Drive.

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