Authorities: 10-year-old admits to starting barn fire in Hanover Township

HANOVER TWP., Ohio -- A 10-year-old boy told arson investigators Thursday he started a fire that destroyed a barn in Hanover Township.

Officials said a call came in at about 3:30 p.m. reporting the blaze at a barn in the 3000 block of Lanes Mill Road. 

Neighbor Tom Nieman said he was the first to call for help.

"A frantic boy knocked on my door saying to call 911," he said.

Nieman said detectives beat the fire department to the scene.

"They were here long before the fire department was here. I was surprised it took the fire department so long to get here," he said.

And in the time it took fire personnel to arrive an explosion occurred on the property.

"There was an explosion that was really loud. It rocked the roof on the barn when that took place. It was freaky," Nieman said.

It’s unclear what caused the explosion but a truck was inside the barn, along with a variety of additional items. There were also about 300 bales of hay that served as fuel for the blaze, according to investigators.

Authorities said the structure was fully engulfed when they arrived and the building has since collapsed.

The Initial call indicated investigators believed the fire may have been caused by a meth lab inside the barn. Hanover Township Fire Chief Phil Clark told 9 On Your Side he believed that was the case due to the quick response time by vice detectives.

But an arson investigator on the scene confirmed a 10-year-old admitted to causing the fire. It's unclear if the boy said he intended to start the fire but no charges will be filed against him at this time, according to law enforcement officials.

No one was injured.

Stay with 9 On Your Side for updates as they become available.

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