The owner of a Knox business that was destroyed by fire last week is jailed without bond, charged with arson and insurance fraud. James L. Campbell, 46, of Knox, was arrested this afternoon by officers from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s Fire Investigation Division. Campbell owns Starke County Recycling, also known as C&C Salvage. The business, located on U.S. 35 just south of Toto Road, caught fire on Thursday, March 20. Starke County dispatchers were notified at 5:17 p.m. The Bass Lake, Knox-Center Township, Hamlet, Washington Township, Koontz Lake, North Judson-Wayne Township, San Pierre and Monterey Fire Departments all responded to the blaze and spent several hours getting it under control. One firefighter was injured. Black smoke was visible for miles, and a brigade of tanker trucks hauled water to the scene.
An investigation by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management conducted in October of 2012 reportedly found numerous environmental violations by Campbell at C&C Salvage and other businesses he owns. The department proposed an agreed order constituting a settlement.
The Starke County Sheriff’s Department asks that anyone who took pictures of the fire or saw any vehicles leaving Starke County Recycling around the time of the fire to please contact them at 574-772-3771.