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Suspect arrested after fire in home

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GREENFIELD — A Greenfield man was being held in connection with a Wednesday evening fire that damaged a house in the 700 block of School Street.

James Ward, 28, was arrested by Greenfield Police Wednesday night on an outstanding Shelby County warrant for a vehicle theft charge and fleeing officers during the arrest attempt, said Greenfield Police detective J.D. Fortner.

Police say Ward was one of three men living at the home, and he was asked to vacate the premises early on Wednesday.

Investigators allege Ward became upset about being asked to leave and later returned to set the fire.

Documents were filed early Friday with the Hancock County prosecutor’s office in support of an arson charge, Fortner said.

  Formal charges from the prosecutor’s office are not expected until early next week, he said.

Greenfield firefighters were called by a neighbor to the house in the 700 block of School Street about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, said Greenfield Fire Department Deputy Chief Jason Horning.

No one was inside the home when firefighters arrived, and it took crews approximately 20 minutes to extinguish the blaze.

Though flames did break through one of the bedroom windows, the fire was largely confined to the interior of the house and the attic, Horning said.

Firefighters were required to ventilate the house through the roof as “there was zero visibility inside,” Horning said.

Friday morning, police had cordoned off the corner lot at School and West Seventh streets, and fire officials said they were still investigating the blaze.

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