Two Noblesville men have been arrested in connection to an early morning business fire at Auto Value, an auto parts store located in a small strip mall containing three other businesses.
At approximately 4:51 a.m. March 29, the Noblesville Fire Dept. was dispatched to 1965 Conner St. for a possible business fire. Division Chief Rick Russell said the fire was reported by a Noblesville police officer who saw a male subject running from the scene.
“At 4:55 a.m., the first fire suppression unit arriving on-scene advised smoke and flames were showing from the business,” said Russell. “Fire personnel made entry into the business and had water on the fire at 4:59 a.m., and mitigated the fire at 5:19 a.m.”
Russell said the fire was contained to this business and none of the other three businesses in the strip mall sustained damage.
At 5:18 a.m., the Noblesville Police Dept. had one male subject in custody for questioning. Russell said during questioning, the detained subject noted there was a second person associated with this incident. The second subject was taken into custody a short time later.
“Upon investigation, it was determined the business was intentionally set on fire to cover up a burglary the subjects committed there between the hours of 11 p.m. and midnight,” Russell said.
The subjects, identified as Anthony Whitmer, 42, and Jacob Lyttle, 27, both of Noblesville, were arrested by Noblesville police officers and transported to the Hamilton County Jail.
The fire has caused approximately $70,000 damage to the structure and the contents of Auto Value. There are no injuries or deaths associated with the incident.