Elwood fire investigation gets federal attention

Prosecutor promises no special treatment

ELWOOD, Ind. - Elwood officials brought in federal and state experts Monday to investigate Friday's large factory fire.

Police arrested four teenagers ranging in age from 13 to 17, and Mayor Ron Arnold says one of those juveniles is his son.

"I don't care who does it, whether it's the mayor's kid, a police officer's kid... it's still arson, it's still against the law," said Madison County resident Jan Gibbs.

The prosecutor's office has the case and says the oldest teen could be charged as an adult, depending on what investigators find.

Elwood authorities searched the site Monday, with the help of investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and state Fire Marshal investigators, looking for evidence like accelerants. 

Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said personal relationships will not be a factor in the investigation.

"I hold everyone accountable in Madison County, and this young man won't be given any special treatment because his father is the mayor of Elwood, I assure you,"  said Cummings. "This is not the first time I've had to deal with a relative of a high-profile person or public official, and my record speaks for itself. I hold everybody accountable in Madison County."

City leaders say they welcome the expertise of state and federal arson investigators because it's been five or six years since this department has investigated an arson.

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