Deputies looking for man who fled church parking lot in burning truck

Butler County deputies are still looking for the driver of a truck that caught fire then crashed a mile away before the man hopped out and fled.

The man was apparently burning something in a barrel in back of Elk Creek Baptist Church at about 2:35 p.m. when the flame traveled to a truck and brush and melted the siding of the building, said Butler County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kim Peters.

The driver sped out of the parking lot in the flaming vehicle and ran a stop sign at an intersection, nearly crashing into a motorcycle.

The vehicle made it about a mile down the road before the driver abandoned the vehicle, which eventually became engulfed in flames, according to Peters.

Fleeing the scene on foot, the man ran through a 1-year old’s birthday party in someone’s yard, residents said.

“The truck was incinerated. Couldn’t get a VIN or anything off it. So we don’t have any identification,” Peters said. “A dog was unable to track the suspect.”

The Madison Twp. Fire Department responded to the scene with six units to battle the blaze.

Peters said detectives are still trying to determine what the man was burning and if he owned the vehicle.