Merrillville man who allegedly started fire in Indiana jail lobby arrested in Chicago suburb

The Merrillville man accused of purposely starting a fire in the lobby of the Lake County Jail in Indiana was taken into custody on Friday in suburban Chicago.

According to authorities, 26-year-old Ryan Andrews entered the jail lobby shortly before noon on Monday carrying a jug believed to contain some form of accelerant. He then doused the lobby with the liquid before igniting it and fleeing the scene.

The fire was put out quickly, preventing any significant damage or injuries.


On Friday morning, authorities say Andrews was arrested by Tinley Park police. The details surrounding his arrest were not immediately released.

Ryan Andrews | Provided

Andrews is currently being held at a facility in Illinois pending extradition to Indiana, the Lake County Sheriff said.

"The Lake County Sheriff’s Department appreciates the hard work of police officers from Tinley Park who have been supportive since the start of the investigation," Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. said in a statement.

No further information was immediately available.