MARION, Ind. – Fire officials have determined a massive plant fire was intentionally set.
Firefighters responded to the blaze at the old Thompson plant Saturday evening. Six firefighters were injured while battling the massive fire.
“It’s just hard to really fathom what could’ve happened five seconds later,” said Jordan Lamb, Captain with the Marion Fire Department.
The fire scene was right across the street from Marion Fire Station 6.
“We called the fire in. I’ve been on for almost 11 years and I’ve never had to do that before,” said Captain Lamb.
Fire officials say two tank explosions happened inside one of the buildings. Captain Lamb was about five feet away at the time.
“I felt the percussion on my face. You kind of see it in the movies where your skin just kind of slowing moves back I could feel that and it knocked me down to one hand and on a knee,” said Captain Lamb.
Two buildings about 150 yards apart from one another were both on fire. Marion fire investigators along with the State Fire Marshal’s Office are looking for the cause and the suspect or suspects.
“It does sting to think that you were selfish enough to do, for whatever you did to put us in danger,” said Captain Lamb.
The majority of the six injured firefighters were taken to the hospital to be evaluated for potential hearing loss.
“(My) ears were constantly ringing the rest of the night. (They’re) still ringing right now,” said Capt. Lamb.
Fire crews brought the blaze under control within two hours.
“It could’ve been someone who intentionally trying to hurt people. It could’ve been kids in there messing around. You just don’t know. Think before you act. Arson is not something to play with,” said Capt. Lamb.
Investigators would not comment if accelerants were found at the scene. Marion fire crews were assisted by firefighters from five area fire departments.
“I’m very fortunate, very thankful to still be here,” said Capt. Lamb.
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call 765-668-4474, or the arson hotline at 1-800-382-4628. You could receive a $5,000 reward if your tip leads to an arrest and conviction.