Arson suspected in officer’s house fire

Indianapolis – Metro Police say someone threw what appears to be a Molotov cocktail into the home of an IMPD officer. Crews got the call around 1:30 am Monday to the south side home.

It happened in a quiet subdivision off State Road 37 south of Smith Valley Road. Officer Justin Beaton, his wife and two young children were sound asleep at the time. The officer’s wife heard glass breaking on the back porch, and then the house was quickly engulfed in fire.

IMPD Sgt. Linda Jackson said 911 was quickly notified and the officer radioed in that the fire was quickly engulfing his wood deck as well as the back and roof of his house. The officer and his family got out safely.

His family safe, the veteran officer who works late shift patrols and trains new officers tried to contain the fire until the fire department got there by using a hose in the back of the house.

Neighbor Ed Rudisell said, “The fire took off really fast. Before the fire department got there, that house was engulfed. It’s rough, one of our neighbors being attacked and he’s got two kids.”

Indianapolis Fire Department officials have ruled that fire as arson.

Investigators, including a new city-ATF joint arson squad, will try to determine if a fire bomb was used and if the officer, whose car is a regular fixture in the driveway, was specifically targeted.

Officials say there has been vandalism in the area but nothing of this magnitude. Police set up a perimeter, and had K-9s search the neighborhood, but no arrests have been made.

Officers are collecting clothing and toys for the officer’s family. They got out of that fire with very little.

Damage to the home is estimated at $100,000.

Also, firefighters responded to a separate fire at around 1:15 am in the 900 block of North Denney. That was also ruled arson.

A neighbor called 911 and reported smoke coming from the roof of a single story, wood frame residence.

It took firefighters about 15 minutes to mark this fire under control, which appeared to have started in the bedroom.

The home owner was away caring for a sick relative. No injuries were reported. Damage was estimated at $25,000.

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