Court docs: New Castle man admits to causing four house fires

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Joshua Dunham

NEW CASTLE, Ind.– Court documents show the man accused of causing four house fires in New Castle admitted to the crime.

On June 6, New Castle police were called to the area of 16th Street and F Avenue. Officers arrived and found a home in the 1600 block of F Avenue engulfed in flames. An 18-year-old man and three juveniles were at the scene because they saw smoke and came to investigate. The 18-year-old is the one who called 911.

Police interviewed them and did not believe they had anything to do with the fire, so they were all released.

While at the initial fire, two additional fires were reported. One was in the 1400 block of South 19th Street, and the other was in the 1600 block of D Avenue. A short time later, a fourth home caught on fire as a result of the blaze on 19th Street.

All four homes were a total loss. The 19th Street home was the only one occupied, but nobody was home at the time.

Officers later found a neighbor who had security cameras around his residence. In a video, he said he saw a person walk in font of a residence and then go behind it. A short time later the house caught on fire.

A 2010 four-door Ford Focus was identified as the suspect’s vehicle. While working another case, an officer spotted the a car matching the description. Based on registration information they were able to identify the suspect as Joshua Dunham, 24.

On June 13, Dunham came to the police headquarters to speak about the incident. During the interview, police say he admitted to starting the fires. He said he didn’t use any accelerants, but set things on fire that he found laying around the homes.

Officials said the damage was assessed at $50,000 in total. Dunham faces four counts of arson.

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