Homeless man admits starting garage fire

A homeless man’s admission he was responsible for starting a fire in a North Vernon garage more than a week ago means he likely won’t go to jail.

William R. Smith of Utah told police he was staying in the garage at Fifth and Hoosier streets and started a “small” fire to keep warm and then left to get some food, according to a news release from city Detective Ivory Sanderfur.

Smith said when he returned to the garage emergency vehicles were at the garage that had burned.

Sanderfur said he contacted the garage owner with the information about Smith and how the fire started, and that man did not wish to press charges.

Smith is working with the owner to repair the structure and make compensation for the damage, Sanderfur said.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.