INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis trucking company faces an estimated $1 million in losses after nearly 20 commercial vehicles were either destroyed or damaged by intentionally set fires early Thursday.
Indianapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Rita Reith said firefighters were dispatched just before 3:30 a.m. to M&K Truck Center in the 1400 block of Harding Court near Interstate 465 and Harding Street on the south side.
Heavy fire and smoke were visible from the interstate when firefighters arrived. They found 14 tractor-trailers, three dump trucks and three other vehicles on fire. All the vehicles were located in an area behind a secured chain link fence, Reith said.
Reith said investigators determined the fires were arson. A statement from M&K Truck Center said 12 vehicles are a total loss and seven others sustained significant damage. The company is offering a $30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
The full statement from M&K Truck Center reads:
It is devastating that this intentional arson occurred on our property today. We are grateful that there were no personal injuries and for the rapid response of the fire department. M&K Truck Centers and our customers have suffered significant loss of property including 12 commercial vehicles that are a total loss and 7 others that sustained significant damage. We are working with the authorities to find the people responsible for this crime. In addition to the Crime Stoppers reward M&K Truck Centers is offering a $30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the arson.
Reith said there were multiple reports of explosions caused by diesel fuel. After a search, crews did not find damage to any surrounding businesses. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management was dispatched to the scene to help clean hundreds of gallons of spilled diesel fuel.
A firefighter suffered a turned ankle, but no serious injuries were reported.
Anyone with information about the fires should contact Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8744. Only tips submitted through Crime Stoppers will be eligible for a cash reward of $1,000 if the information leads to a felony arrest or M&K Truck Center's $30,000 reward.