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Arson Determined in Little Nashville Opry Fire, But No Suspects

Investigators in Brown County have determined the fire that burned down the Little Nashville Opry on September 19th was intentionally set.

Arson Determined in Little Nashville Opry Fire, But No Suspects

Photo: WFIU News

The fire caused $3 million in damage and there are no plans, as of yet, to rebuild the 34-year old structure.

Instead, investigators are digging deeper into the rubble to sort out what happened. There are many hands on the case, including local authorities, Indiana Homeland Security and the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The investigation took a turn recently when accidental causes of the fire were ruled out.

Homeland Security Spokesperson Rachel Meyer says more than 80 individuals have been interviewed so far. She says the different law enforcement groups felt comfortable releasing the cause of the fire but will not reveal any more information than that…including how the blaze was set.

“They did determine that the fire started in the stage area. That’s about all we can say at this point,” Meyer said.

Despite the dozens of interviews conducted so far, Meyer says the Brown County Sheriff’s office is still looking for more information before determining suspects or persons of interest.

“There was nobody in the building at the time of the fire but the firefighters risked their lives out there.  Just because there wasn’t anyone in the building there still were people risk who could have been injured or killed. We definitely want to make sure the person or persons responsible are held accountable for their actions,” she said.

Little Nashville Enterprises, which owns the building, had previously lost properties to fire. No charges were filed in those cases and they will not be reopened. However, Morgan County authorizes are speaking with investigators about a Little Nashville property that was damaged in that county.

Daniel Robison

Daniel started as WFIU's Assistant News Director in July 2008. He graduated with a B.A. in history in 2007 and earned an M.A. in journalism two years later. Daniel hosts Ask the Mayor weekly and the occasional Noon Edition. He also hosts Morning Edition on Thursdays, sleepily. Daniel's beats include everything News Director Stan Jastrzebski wants him to cover. And it feels strange to type biography of myself in the third person like this. So that's that.

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