Two teens facing charges after confessing to starting weekend fire

Terre Haute authorities said two juveniles are to blame for a weekend fire. The teens confessed to starting the fire Sunday night at the abandoned warehouse in the area of 17th and Maple Avenue.

Posted: Aug 12, 2019 5:45 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Terre Haute authorities said two juveniles are to blame for a weekend fire.

Authorities arrested a 14-year-old and later arrested a 13-year-old.

Investigators said the teens confessed to starting the fire.

The fire started Sunday night around 8:00 p.m.

Authorities responded to the area of 17th and Maple Avenue in Terre Haute.

The location is known as the old Fibre Box Plant.

Witnesses said black smoke from the fire could be seen in the air all across town.

Bill Ray has lived in his home on north 15th 1/2 Street for the last year.

In that time, he's seen black smoke in the air from the old warehouse being on fire twice now.

"I see all of these black plumes of smoke, and I start seeing black stuff laying around every place. Then I started seeing it fall out of the sky, and I'm like what is that? You know," said Ray.

It was debris that traveled through the air and landed on roofs, cars and in the yards of several homes in the surrounding area.

Ray said his biggest concern was making sure his family and home were safe.

"I'm two blocks away from north plaza. That's a pretty good distance for that stuff to be falling out of the sky. Didn't know if it was hot, any of it still in flames. People could've lost their homes and stuff from this if that ash was hot enough to start a roof on fire," said Ray.

Not only did the fire cause concern for local residents, but firefighters as well.

This is the second time this year this building has been set on fire.

"This type of fire. This type of an on-going investigation for hours and hours cost the city money, so it's very frustrating that somebody would do this. there's just simply no reason for it," said Norm Loudermilk, Terre Haute Arson Investigator.

The two teens are facing charges for the crime.

Investigators hope they learn a lesson from this.

"The kids this young we want to make sure we're trying to get them help, so that they can get better so that we don't keep running into them over and over again, and we don't have a firefighter hurt or someone from the public hurt," said Loudermilk.

Investigators said they don't believe these teens are responsible for the first arson at this warehouse back in April.

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