The Washington Times-Herald

February 20, 2013

Reward offered in January fire

$5,000 for information in suspected arson on Jackson Street

By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — The state Fire Marshal’s Office is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in a fire that injured two Washington firefighters.

The state office and the local police and fire departments are asking for help that will lead to an arrest in the Jan. 14 fire at 1500Jackson Street. Up to $5,000 is being offered.

According to a release from the fire marshal’s office, the fire caused $63,000 worth of damage.

There were no utilities connected to the house, and investigators believe the fire was intentionally set.

According to an earlier report, the fire was first reported at 3:03 a.m. on Jan. 14. Off-duty firefighters were called in to assist, and the blaze was officially under control by 3:56 a.m.

Two city firefighters, Matt Pride and Dwayne Murphy, were injured while fighting the fire. Both were taken to Daviess Community Hospital for sprains and were later treated and released. Both firefighters returned to work soon after treatment.

Washington Fire Chief David Rhoads said last month the fire was started in the living room of the house, owned by Joe Williams of Petersburg. The house is unable to be renovated.

“Authorities are encouraging anyone with information about this fire, no matter how insignificant the information may seem, to call the state Fire Marshal’s Arson Hotline,” the release stated.

The hotline, (800) 382-4628, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers may remain anonymous and all names will be kept confidential.