Teen admits to starting huge fire that destroyed Hamilton warehouse

A teen has admitted to setting a fire at a Hamilton warehouse that caused a massive blaze at the block-long building last summer.

Logan Henry, 18, was indicted in November on 13 counts including aggravated arson, arson and breaking and entering. He was 17 at the time of the crimes and is being tried as an adult.

On Thursday, Henry pleaded guilty in Butler County Common Pleas Court to aggravated arson, a second degree felony. The remainder of the charges were dismissed. Judge Keith Spaeth set sentencing for Sept. 1. Henry’s trial was scheduled to begin Sept. 8.

Henry faces an indeterminate maximum sentence of eight to 12 years in prison. That means the judge could sentence him to up to eight years, and he could receive an additional four years in prison if he gets in trouble while incarcerated. A prison sentence in this case is presumed, but not mandatory.

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Henry remains free on $115,000 bond.

Security videos from neighboring businesses showed four males who looked to be juveniles enter the warehouse during the early-morning hours of July 25, 2019, according to police. Minutes later, they ran out, and flames were soon visible.

Hamilton Detective Robert Horton testified during a probable cause hearing that investigators were able to identify the four males seen on the video and question three of them.

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The teens said they were hanging out and entered the west side of the warehouse through a door. They were climbing on a bin of plastic when Henry put a lighter to the plastic, Horton said during testimony.

“He (Henry) took a lighter, lit the plastic while they were on top of it, they jumped down and ran out,” Horton said.

Horton said there was no evidence an accelerant was used to light the fire, but Henry said they all attempted to put out the fire before leaving the building.

The remains of the building in the city’s Lindenwald neighborhood have been razed. The cleanup was estimated to cost $100,000, according to police.

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