Mount Vernon man arrested on arson charge


MOUNT VERNON, Ind. (WEHT) – A Mount Vernon man is accused of intentionally setting fire to a residence back in July.

On July 23, the fire department responded to a fire in the 400 block of W. 8th St.

The vacant residence was found engulfed in flames, according to the fire department.

An investigation of the fire led Indiana Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Matt Wells to 40-year-old Andy Bates.

Bates was hired by the owner of the residence to complete repairs to get the home ready to rent.

According to the Posey County Prosecutor’s Office, Bates told investigators that he became frustrated that he could not complete the repairs in the agreed upon time.

Bates confessed to starting the fire in the basement by using a torch to ignite trash and paper, the prosecutor’s office said.

According to police records, the fire caused over $20,000 in damages to the property.

Bates is charged with arson. If convicted, Bates could face 2-12 years in prison.

Bates is currently in custody at the Posey County Jail with bond set for $50,000 surety or $5,000 cash.

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(This story was originally published on Nov. 18, 2019)

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