HENDERSON COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) — The Henderson Sheriff’s Office believes a fire on Henderson Island was set on purpose, and one resident said he caught it on camera.
“This one they were armed to essentially light the island on fire,” said Adam Blythe, who lives across from the island.
Blythe said he was getting ready for bed Thursday night when something caught his eye; a boat and at least two people very close to the shore of Henderson Island.
“Unfortunately when I turned my kitchen light off they went right to the beach.”
Blythe said he thought they were illegally hunting. He continued to watch and pulled out his phone to record when he noticed a fire.
“Within four minutes they had dumped all of that accelerant onto the beach and up into the woods and the gentleman behind followed with that torch lighting it,” he said.
Blythe called 911 and watched the fire grow from his home on the other side of the river.
“I actually watched it from my deck and you could feel the heat it was pretty incredible.”
At one point, Blythe said the flames were as high as the tree line. He watched as firefighters came by boat to put the flames out.
“We kind of look at that island as an extension of our backyard and it was a very helpless feeling, you know, standing there and not much you could do besides call 911.”
This is not the first time the island has caught fire. In September, a pile of driftwood caught fire and firefighters had to put it out.
Although authorities have not said if the fires are related, Blythe said it seemed suspicious.
“We have lived here for five years and this is the first year we have run into anything like this it is very strange,” he said.
Firefighters were sent to the island again on Saturday night for a fire. We are working to get more information and will keep you updated.