Local fire departments say that arsons bring challenges

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Monday morning around 1 a.m., firefighters with Sugar Creek and Honey Creek battled a blaze in West Terre Haute, that has been since ruled an arson. A crime that local departments have seen several times this year.

“We’ve had two residences that are vacant, obviously no one living in them, there were some belongings or they were being repaired, that have been set on fire. I know at Sugar Creek throughout the years and even this year we’ve had a couple as well,” said Josh Sittler, PIO with Honey Creek and Sugar Creek Fire Departments.

According to Sittler this is a slight increase from the amount of arsons that his departments have seen in recent years. Sittler says putting out the fire isn’t the only difficulty, but also finding who was repsonsible.

“A lot of times we don’t have a lot of leads for these becasuse no one saw it happen, it’s in the middle of the night, or real early in the morning,” Sittler said.

Sittler says first responders depend partially on tips from the community and even after finding a person who was repsonsible for an arson, proving that they intentionally set the fire is a challenge in itself.

“You’ve got to get the suspect to say hey I set this fire. It’s not as easy as finding that DNA and then matching that with a person,” Sittler said.

Although sittler says no suspects have been found for arsons this year, he does say his departments are using the resources to find them.

“Obviously blaze who is the arosn fire dog for the area. We have just other tools we can use. We have photography, law enforcement,” Sittler said.    

Sittler says if anyone has any information regarding an arson. You are encouraged to call your local enforcement.

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