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Monday, May 2, 2016

Woman charged in connection with Cooper Towers fire

Thursday, August 25, 2005






There has been an arrest in connection with the Cooper Towers fire early Monday.

Dawn A. Hahn, 39, a resident of the building, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the fire.

The Brazil Times reported Wednesday that Hahn had been arrested for arson, according to jail records, but no connection to the Cooper Towers fire had been made.

Shortly before 4 p.m., charges against Hahn were filed with the Clay County Prosecutor's office, Chief Mark Loudermilk said this morning.

He also said security cameras in Cooper Towers played a factor in identifying Hahn as the arsonist.

At 12:27 a.m. Monday, an ADT security alarm reported a fire in the lounge area of the second floor of the nine story apartment complex. Firemen from the Brazil City Fire Dept. worked for an hour to contain the blaze while evacuating 82 residents from the building with help from members of the Clay County Search and Rescue.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal's office was contacted once the fire was out.

Fowler arrived at the scene around 4:10 a.m. to begin the investigation at the low income/handicapped residential apartment complex at 120 W. Jackson St. and managed by the Brazil Housing Authority (BHA).

With 29 years of experience, Fowler said that the determination of the cause of a fire can take as little as 20 minutes once a fire marshal is on the scene, but an investigation can take up to as long as a year to complete.

It is routine procedure to have a state fire Marshal investigate a fire like this one to determine whether it was accidental or intentionally set, said Loudermilk.

"Apparently there was a mattress which had been stored in the room by a tenant, who probably put it there because they couldn't get it downstairs because of the large elevator was shut off for routine maintenance," BHA Executive Director Michael Hagemeyer told The Brazil Times. "It was burned in the fire, but it has not been identified as the source of the fire by officials. We're still waiting on that determination from the State Fire Marshall's office."

Worried about the damaged fire alarm system, the maintenance supervisor from the BHA and a firefighter from the Brazil City Fire Department stayed at the building during the night in case the alarm sounded again.

"It only sounded four times, with the last one at 11:24 p.m. Monday," Hagemeyer said.

"Fire safety is an ongoing process," Hagemeyer said. "We were very fortunate that everyone is safe. I'm so very very proud of the residents living here. The way they pulled together and their attitude afterwards is incredible."

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