Gas City family escapes suspicious house fire deemed arson

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GAS CITY, Ind. - A central Indiana family had a close call when they woke up to smoke and flames at their front door.

“I just grabbed the babies and ran out. It just happened so fast,” said Stacie Mettert, house fire victim.

Five people, including a toddler, were inside a Gas City home when the fire started. The smell of smoke started to take over near the front porch.

“He opened it and the flames just went right at him,” said Mettert.

For the most part, the damage stayed outside. The front door is now stained with smoke and there’s melted siding hanging above.

Investigators say the fire was no accident and believe it was intentionally set.

“To do an act like that, it’s kind of hard to comprehend just how far out of hand that could’ve gotten,” said Gas City Police Chief Tim Eckstein.

One of the biggest clues investigators collected was footage from home surveillance video. Police tell FOX59 you can see at least one person, possibly more, running up to the home on W. South A St. A short time later, the video shows a glow from the fire. Within seconds, police say you can see someone running away.

“It’s not a game. They need to think about, there are five lives in here. Had I waited any longer to get out of my room, we would’ve lost everything including our lives. There would’ve been a fatality, guaranteed,” said Mettert.

Investigators are still trying to figure out if there’s a reason this specific home was chosen or if it was random.

“A motive is obviously one thing you’re always looking for. So, we’re early in the investigation a lot of things need to unfold before we go any further at this point,” said Eckstein.

The Mettert family realizes they’re lucky, but they’re also scared.

“Who’s to say they ain’t going to come back?” said Mettert.

Police are doing extra patrols in the area. Anyone who knows anything that could help detectives is encouraged to call Gas City Police at 765-674-2278.

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