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Ironton man charged with 2 counts of arson: Grand jury alleges Nelson set fire to his residence on New Year’s Eve

An Ironton man has been indicted for arson in the December fire that consumed his home.

On New Year’s Eve, the Ironton Fire Department responded to a call about a fire at the home of Terry Nelson and the blaze was already well under way, with flames coming out of the roof when firefighters got there at 10 p.m. Crews were on scene until 2 a.m.

“The house is completely gone,” IFD Captain Jeff Joseph said. “It is destroyed.”

Nelson was not at the scene and the IFD put out a request for anyone with information about Nelson’s whereabouts to contact them because they were concerned he may have been injured, setting off a “Where’s Waldo?”-esque social media sensation with people posting sightings of Nelson in Ashland, Kentucky and other places.

At the time the fire investigators didn’t know if Nelson or someone with a grudge against him had set the fire.

On Wednesday, the Lawrence County Grand Jury returned an indictment with two counts against Nelson.

The first count was first-degree felony aggravated arson and the second count was second-degree felony aggravated arson. Both counts allege that Nelson did knowingly set fire to his residence, with means of fire or explosion, creating a substantial risk of serious physical harm to any person other than the offender and to an occupied structure.