Terre Haute Fire Department investigating three suspicious fires as possible arsons

Matthew Gonzalez was sitting on his front porch when he heard three explosions down the block from his home in Terre Haute.

“I got in my car to see what was going on because it sounded like gunshots,” he explained. “By the time I got down there the whole house was already on fire.”

Around 11:15 pm Monday night, Terre Haute Fire Department crews responded to a house fire at 716 S. 14th Street.

“It appears there were no utilities hooked up to it,” said Arson Investigator Norm Loudermilk. “And when you have those types of no utilities and the amount of fire involved, we’re looking at the possibility of it being a set fire.”

One street over at 600 S. 15th Street, a vacant home caught fire Sunday night.

“Like four houses have burned right there on that row and nobody really knows why,” said Gonzalez.

Loudermilk suspects this and a carport fire at 408 S. 22nd Street were both intentionally set.

“On Sunday we had a vehicle fire that was parked under a carport,” he explained. “And that vehicle was an arson.”

With three arson investigations in the preliminary stages, it seems as though this particular crime is on the rise.

But due to unpredictable criminal motivation, Loudermilk says its the opposite.

“Sometimes there will be a string for whatever reason and then it dies down. There’s no way to predict it,” he said. “There’s no way to really stop it because there are different motives for arsons.”

If anyone has any information pertaining to the three arsons, please contact the Terre Haute Fire Department.

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