Arrest made in connection with fires
Milan responds to four fires in one night

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

A Milan man has been arrested in connection with several fires that occurred last Thursday, September 6.

According to Prosecutor Ric Hertel, Superior Court Judge James Morris found probable cause to issue an arrest warrant for Robert Wetzler, 35, last week after firefighters responded to four fires within a three hour period.

While formal charges have not been filed, the prosecutor said they are pending the results of the investigation from the state fire marshal’s office.

Lt. Mike Alloway of the Milan Volunteer Fire Department said their department responded to the first call on Thursday at 9:02 p.m. This was a grass/cornfield fire on County Road 625E. at the 200N intersection. A call came in just three minutes after the first one at 9:05 about another fire just further south on the same road (625E). This was a grass fire by the side of the road.

Alloway noted that the third call came in at 10:34 p.m. with reports of smoke coming from a barn on Farmer’s Retreat Road, still following the pattern of 625E. The fourth and final call of the night would come in just after midnight when firemen were called upon to yet another grass/cornfield fire on 625E, near where the first fire began.

“It was quite a night,” Alloway noted. He told the Osgood Journal that the fires could have caused great damage but were kept to a minimum due to the quick thinking actions of either passers-by or neighbors calling for help. He said the fact that the grass and cornfields are so dry right now could have been disastrous if they hadn’t gotten to the fires immediately.

The Milan Police Department, Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, and State Fire Marshal’s office all assisted with the investigation. Rescue 30 and Ripley County Paramedics also responded to the scenes.