Fire crews ask for help searching for arsonist following west side apartment fire

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Firefighters in Wayne Township are asking for the public’s help searching for an arsonist.

On Sept. 7 just after midnight, firefighters were called to the 6300 block of Mosport Court, in the Darby Court apartment complex near 21st Street and High School Road.

Cell phone video shows black smoke pouring out the front door of an apartment building. The fire charred the walls and investigators say it didn’t take long to figure out the blaze was not an accident.

“As investigators started looking at the fire, they realized this was a set fire,” said Wayne Township Fire Department Captain Michael Pruitt.

Investigators believe the unknown arsonist intentionally ignited the carpet in the building’s stairwell. One person was treated for a minor injury.

“This was a common entry way of the apartment, so people would have been trapped in there had crews not knocked that fire down quickly,” said Pruitt.

Captain Pruitt says while fire crews quickly extinguished the flames, the fire put people’s lives at risk.

“When an individual chooses to do this, they endanger everyone in that building and every first responder coming to the scene,” said Pruitt.

Neighbors say there was no major damage to the four apartments inside the building, but they’re concerned because in the days following the fire someone wrote several strange threatening messages on the soot covered walls.

They want whoever set the fire held accountable before they endanger anyone else.

“It was a bad situation to start and it could have been much worse. I don’t know what goes through people’s minds when they do acts like this,” said Pruitt. “It’s absolutely ridiculous people choose to do this for whatever reason. It’s wrong.”

The damage was estimated to be worth about $20,000.

Anyone with information to report can call the Indiana Arson Hotline at 1-800-382-4628. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477). Tips to Crime Stoppers can be worth $1,000 if the information leads to a felony arrest.

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