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Man faces 3 counts of arson after IndyGo bus catches fire

Man faces 3 counts of arson after IndyGo bus catches fire

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A man faces three counts of arson after a Wednesday morning fire engulfed an IndyGo bus on the near-north side, a police report says.

An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department report says 45-year-old Demarcus McCloud was arrested. Court records show McCloud has an extensive criminal history, including eight separate sentences in the Indiana Department of Corrections. Most recently, he had a 2023 conviction for criminal trespassing.

In the police report, McCloud’s address is listed as Horizon House, a homeless shelter that helps people secure and maintain housing.

The fire caused $2 million in damages to the bus and the bus stop, the Indianapolis Fire Department says. It turned over the investigation to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

A video shared on social media around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday showed the burning, northbound bus parked next to the station on Meridian Street south of 38th Street. The Red Line rapid-transit bus runs through the area that several businesses and apartment buildings, and the North United Methodist Church.

The Indianapolis Fire Department responded within minutes, noting the fire was out by 7:45 a.m.

Carrie Black, director of communications for IndyGo, noted the quick actions of the bus driver in evacuating four passengers. Two passengers were taken to Eskenazi Hospital with slight injuries, Indianapolis Fire Department says.

Witnesses had told police someone on the bus had set the fire.

The fire and police departments confirmed the blaze was not due to any malfunction with the bus or its electrical systems.

The bus stop reopened after cleanup crews spent several hours there.


“IndyGo is pleased to learn a person has been detained in connection with a bus fire that happened this morning along the Red Line at 38th and Meridian streets. A joint investigation including IndyGo, the Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is underway.

“‘The safety of our riders and teammates is always our top priority,’ said IndyGo Interim President and CEO Jennifer Pyrz. ‘We’d like to take this opportunity to applaud our coach operator who did everything right and followed ‘See Something, Say Something’ operator training. As a result, he quickly jumped to action, ensuring riders got off the bus quickly and with no major injuries, likely saving lives today.’

“The Red Line station at 38th and Meridian streets suffered minor surface damage. Cleanup is complete, and the station has reopened. The previous detour has been canceled, and the Red Line has returned to its normal route. This incident and the loss of the bus should not directly impact Red Line operations. Regarding the repairs and/or replacement of the bus, it is fully insured, and IndyGo is working with its insurance company on next steps.”