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Police Arrest 4 Juveniles In Connection With Factory Fire

Last updated on Sunday, December 2, 2012

(ELWOOD) - The Elwood Police Chief says four juveniles have been arrested for Friday’s massive State Plating Company fire. One of the juveniles arrested was the son of the Elwood Mayor.

WISH TV reports, the Elwood Police say the four juveniles were arrested in connection with the fire. The 17, 14, and two 13-year-olds were preliminarily charged with arson and transported to the Madison County Juvenile Center.

It is not yet clear which juvenile is the mayor's son. Mayor Ron Arnold released a statement Saturday about his son's arrest:

"I want to commend Chief Hanna and his department for their swift action in this matter. As difficult as this situation is as mayor, it is made more difficult by the fact that my son is one of the juveniles involved. This revelation has been devastating to me and my family. We covet your prayers as we walk through this difficult time for our city and my family."

Police say the group was seen leaving the scene shortly after the fire broke out. The group reportedly entered the facility through an open gate and door in the building. They had also been seen coming and going from the area earlier this week.

The juveniles are scheduled to appear in court Monday.

The Elwood Fire Department arrived to find the old building fully engulfed in flames around 6:15 p.m. Friday.

A three block area from 9th Street to Main Street was reportedly blocked off while crews worked to get the fire under control. At times, flames were reaching 50 feet in the air.

24-Hour News 8 spoke with former mayor Merrill Taylor who says it could have been much worse. Only one firefighter suffered from smoke inhalation.

"We were lucky to just have one," Taylor said. "With the amount of fire trucks and the amount of fire workers that were here - very lucky".

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