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EPD: Man arrested in connection to Diamond Flea Market fire

The building has been ruled a complete loss
Updated: May. 15, 2021 at 1:34 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Evansville Fire Department says one person was arrested in connection to the fire at Diamond Flea Market.

Police say they were able to obtain surveillance footage of an individual in the area of the arson when it took place.

After a search, police say 25-year-old Christopher Michael Liggett was found at a local hotel.

25-year-old Christopher Michael Liggett
25-year-old Christopher Michael Liggett(Vanderburgh County Jail)

We are told Liggett was taken into police headquarters for questioning, where he confessed to starting the fire.

Liggett is charged with arson and is booked in the Vanderburgh County Corrections Center.

Huge plumes of smoke towered over north Evansville on Friday.

Fire broke out at the Flea Market on Diamond Avenue.

The blaze was so big that people reported seeing the smoke from miles away.

After seeing the smoke, many people called Evansville Central Dispatch starting around 6:20 p.m.

“This place is an old icon to me,” John Eakins shared. “I love it here.”

As Eakins watched the flames fill the space, memories of the treasures found inside came to mind.

“All the things I used to have when I was child,” Eakins recalled. “Lots of vintage toys, records, they had all kinds of neat things.”

It is not just the finds that were important, but the friendly faces.

“It’s always ‘Hi, how are you doing?’ They were glad to see you and talk to you,” Eakins shared. “Lot of good folks in there.”

It was on the northwest corner of the building where the fire was first spotted.

Crews attempted an interior attack but were pulled out when it got too dangerous.

At that point, water was shot on the flames from the outside.

“The metal roof structure, that’s even a little bit more complicated because the metal structure doesn’t burn, so we use our water streams to blast through that once it gets weakened,” Mike Larson, chief administrative officer with the Evansville Fire Department explained.

Several booths are scattered throughout the building.

“Good lord, I couldn’t even begin to count — I really couldn’t,” Eakins said.

He recalls his most recent visit was just a few weeks ago.

Some possessions have since been passed down to grandchildren.

It is a childhood memory now charred.

“I’m going to miss seeing that place,” Eakins added.

EFD does not believe anyone was inside and there were no injuries.

The building has been ruled a complete loss.

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