Arrest Made In Arson That Forced 14 People From Marion Homes


UPDATED: Tuesday June 17, 2014 5:45 PM

Three families are left without a place to stay, after their home went up in flames.

It happened around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning on Columbia Street near Olney Avenue in Marion.

Firefighters say the blaze started at one home and spread to two neighboring homes.

Four adults and 10 children were forced to run out of their houses. Everyone made it out safely.

Gary Lambert says his wife woke him up.

“After I heard my wife yell 'the house is on fire,' I saw the fire coming through the window - so I grabbed my kids and out the door we went,” said Lambert.

Lambert’s 9-year-old daughter was injured during the escape.

“The little girl was transported to Marion-General just for some minor injuries some lacerations to the foot,” said Capt. Wade Ralph, Marion Fire Department.

Investigators say two adults, and two teenagers, who lived in this house all made it out unhurt. They say no one was home in the third home.

Crews worked for hours to put out hotspots. Fire investigators say all of the homes may be a loss.

The families believe the fire was intentionally set.

Fire investigators report the blaze started on the porch in the center home.

Tuesday afternoon, a man was arrested in connection with the crime.

Martin Keifer, 48, is now charged with three counts of Aggravated Arson.

Investigators believe an earlier fight may have prompted the suspect to light the fire on the porch.

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