Metro-East News

Cleaning products found on floors after Shiloh house fire, police say

Shiloh Police investigating a fire at a Shiloh home in late April found that household cleaners had been poured throughout the house, according to documents obtained by the News-Democrat.

Fire crews were called to a home in the 3400 block of Langford in Shiloh at 11:44 p.m. April 23 for a report of flames coming from an upstairs window of the home, according to a police affidavit.

No one was home at the time of the fire, but a police officer said he believed he saw one of the residents walking north on Green Mount Road about an hour before the fire.

Shiloh Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Claxton said he found the fire to be suspicious, according to the affidavit. Police and fire crews found empty bottles of household cleaners with the lids removed throughout the house, and it appeared that the contents of the bottles were poured onto the floor, according to the affidavit. There was also an unknown substance visible on the floor, especially the living room carpet.

When police contacted the owner of the house, who lives in Indiana, he said his son was the only person living in the Langford home, according to the affidavit, which was filed as part of an application for a search warrant. The homeowner and his son had been texting and talking on the phone the night of the fire, and the homeowner had encouraged his son to find a job, according to the documents.

The two spoke on the phone, but the son used profanity and the homeowner hung up, according to the affidavit. The son's last text that night was sent at 10:40 p.m., saying he was feeling angry, the affidavit states. Earlier in the night, he had asked his dad "what the plan was to get him out of here since the area was depressing," according to the affidavit.

The homeowner was hesitant to have police take photos of the text messages, according to the police reports. He told police their relationship had been strained, and it was evident that his son had been having some mental health issues, and that the son was angry and upset with him, the reports said.

Police said Thursday the investigation was ongoing. No charges have been filed in connection with the fire.

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