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Homeless Man Charged With Arson In Downtown Indy Blaze

Last updated on Friday, March 27, 2009

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A homeless man has been charged with arson in the luxury apartment fire two weeks ago in downtown Indianapolis.

The suspect is Brandon Burns, who's in his early 20s. And the irony in that name is not the only oddity in this case. The tip that led to the arrest came from the food court at the Circle Centre Mall Downtown.

An employee, Shawna Lee, says she had often handed Burns free food samples. Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi says investigators questioned and released him, but his alibi didn't check out.

Further investigation found a girlfriend who claims Burns threatened to set fire to her home. They broke up about a month ago. A five-gallon gas can found four blocks from the canal is the subject of what's called a DNA touch test.

Gasoline is believed to have been used as an accelerant in at least one hallway, which may have acted as wind tunnel on that windy morning March 12, fanning a fire that would otherwise not have spread so quickly.

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