A fire that authorities term suspicious destroyed a mobile home near Cromwell late Wednesday, June 21.
A man who was reportedly one of the home's residents was arrested at the scene on unrelated charges, according to the Noble County Sheriff's Department. Cromwell fire units were called to the home, at lot 66 in Shady Acres Mobile home Park, at 11:19 p.m., when a neighbor reported seeing a trailer on fire.
Police officers arrived on the scene moments later to discover the mobile home already engulfed in flames. Cromwell firefighters requested the Ligonier Fire Department to assist, and firefighters were able to knock down the flames in about ten minutes, although they stayed for about three hours to finish extinguishing and help investigate the blaze.
A Noble County EMS crew examined several firefighters for heat exhaustion because of the warm, humid weather, but no injuries were reported.
Police at the scene arrested Gene Allen Blair, 28, on a charge of Public Intoxication. Blair had been an occupant of the mobile home that burned, although an eviction hearing had reportedly been set for June 27. The Noble County Sheriff's Department received a report just before 10 a.m. Wednesday that Blair was behind on rent, and had allegedly threatened to burn down the same home that burned that night.
However, investigators caution that their investigation was just beginning, and no official determination of the cause had been made. Although made near the scene, Blair's public intoxication arrest was not directly related to the fire. He was released on bond Thursday afternoon, after an initial hearing in Noble Superior Court 2.
Seven fire trucks responded to the call, along with the Noble County EMS and Sheriff's departments, and the Ligonier Police Department.