Another occupant was sleeping upstairs, another in the basement.
“Ever since I have lived here, 30 years, nothing like this has ever happened,” said Maldonado. “Its’ scary. You feel like you are living in downtown Chicago, you know.
Fire investigator Kent Stouder says when he recovered remnants of the jar, there was the smell of gasoline in the room.
“It’s crazy, I just don't understand it,” said Stouder. “We could have lost four people today. Luckily that is not the case. We can't have this here in Elkhart.”
Had the jar ended up going in a slightly different direction and trajectory, the outcome of this could have been entirely different. It could have turned into a homicide investigation.
“Luckily the glass container didn't break when it hit the floor,” Stouder said. “It would have trapped the occupants in the bedroom. It would have been between the bed and the doorway, the exit…It rolled under the bed and the occupant couldn't get to it, so it kind of got away from him.”But the glass container did ignite the bed, which spread to other surrounding materials.
“They all got out safely, thank goodness, they were chocking from the smoke,” said Madonado.
“We are going to work this until we catch the people,” said Stouder.
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the fire.