Indiana Man Went Back Into Burning Building To Fight Magnesium Plant Fire; Charged With Misdemeanor

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) -- A man made his way inside the factory where burning magnesium prompted the evacuation of thousands of people and tried to fight the blaze with a fire extinguisher, authorities said.

Joshua D. Kirkwood, 28, of Anderson remained jailed Tuesday on misdemeanor charges of obstructing a firefighter and public intoxication for his actions during the Friday night fire, city police Detective Terry Sollars said.

Fire Chief J.R. Rosencrans said while the cause of the fire at the Advanced Magnesium Alloys Corp. recycling plant had not yet been determined, he believed it was accidental.

''I have no suspicions of anyone who works at the company,'' he said. ''All I know of the fellow is he went inside with a fire extinguisher. It's just different. It's not suspicious, it's weird.''

Jeff Freeman, the city's chief fire investigator, said Kirkwood entered the building about 10:45 p.m. _ about six hours after the fire started.

Investigators believe Kirkwood reached the factory by riding a bicycle to a nearby set of railroad tracks, Sollars said.

''He left his bike there, went across the tracks and made his way through the brush into the plant,'' Sollars said. ''He made it into the building, the one that was on fire. When they found him he didn't seem to want to leave.''

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