Boonville officials are investigating two fires â€" one leading to a death and one believed to be arson.
Boonville Fire Department was called to a fire early Thursday morning on Autumn Drive and another later in the afternoon on Square Deal Mine Road each under different circumstances. The latter led to the death of a Boonville woman.
Boonville Fire Chief Steven Byers said they were called to the fire on Square Deal Mine Road at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday and arrived at the scene just minutes later. He said the main house on the property had been abandoned and was not in use at the time of the fire, but a structure behind the main building was fully engulfed in flames when the firefighters arrived.
Byers said the first responders formed an attack line to extinguish the fire coming from the entrance to the building. Once inside, he said they found a body.
Constance Page, a 66-year-old who lived at the residence,
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was found dead in the fire. Byers said a preliminary investigation has shown that Page likely died from smoke inhalation, but an official determination has not yet been made by the Warrick County coroner.
Byers said the majority of the fire was located in the building behind the main home on the property, but the fire did spread to the main building.
Byers said the roof of the building collapsed and caused the official cause of the fire to be considered undetermined, but the investigation did show that the fire likely started in the main room of the building where Page was found with cigarettes around her. He said there were also tanks of oxygen in the building which had exploded.
Earlier on Thursday, the department was called to another fire on Autumn Drive.
Byers said the department was called out to the scene just before 3:30 a.m. and found that the fire was venting from the windows in the main bedroom at the residence. He said the fire was quickly contained thanks to doors closed throughout the rest of the residence.
However, while the fire was quickly contained, Byers said the fire wasnâ€™t without suspicion. He said an investigation found that the fire was set intentionally.
Byers said the department is working with the Indiana Fire Marshall and the Boonville Police Department to investigate the fire. He said the fire is now considered a criminal investigation and the fire has been ruled incendiary.
Anyone with information about the fire should contact the Boonville Fire Department or the Arson Hotline at 1-800-382-4628. There is a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest.