911 callers describe heavy, black smoke the night of Elwood fire

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ELWOOD – Four teenagers accused of causing a large fire at an abandoned factory building in Elwood will wait another week to hear their charges, after a hearing in juvenile court Tuesday allowed the prosecutor another week for filing.

The fire broke out as it was getting dark Friday, in the old state plating factory building in Elwood. The building has been abandoned for several years and neighbors say its long been a place where kids hang out.

“(They’re always) running around and just probably curious, looking around,” neighbor Michelle Sallee said.

The teenagers, ages 13 to 17, include the Elwood mayor’s son.

Fox 59 also obtained the 911 calls placed that night from neighbors who saw thick smoke coming from the building. Police said the structure was fully engulfed when they got there.

“I don’t see flames but I see smoke, I mean a lot of smoke,” one caller said.

Elwood Police Chief Sam Hanna said that federal ATF agents had been brought in to help investigate the cause and origin of the fire. Hanna expected results of those findings next week.

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