A man has been charged with felony arson after a fire pit in Lake County, Michigan, was set ablaze, authorities said.
The fire was reported on Wednesday morning at a fire station in the town of Shaver Lake.
Firefighters were called to the scene at 7:20am and discovered the fire.
They extinguished the blaze with an aerial fire extinguisher and were able to get everyone out safely.
The suspect was arrested at the scene, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Lt.
Greg Loughran told the Associated Press news agency.
“The suspect is accused of setting a fire in a fire truck, which is prohibited in the state of Michigan,” Loughraan said.
“If convicted of arson, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.”
He is expected to be arraigned in court on Wednesday.
Lake County Prosecutor Dave Eberhardt told the AP that the suspect is believed to have been in the area at the time of the fire and “may have been present for the incident”.
Lake County Fire Chief Mike Blevins told local news station KOMO-TV that he was unable to comment on the arson charge because the case is still under investigation.
Lake Firefighters in Shaver lake were told to use a sledgehammer to cut through the metal and set the fire, which had a capacity of 1,500 cubic metres (5,000 cubic feet).
“This fire was just so bad, it caused so much damage to the building and everything inside,” Blevin told KOMOs.
“It’s hard to describe what it was like for everyone inside that building, the smell of smoke and smoke, the smoke, and all the smoke and ash, it was just unbearable.”
“The smoke was so thick, you could smell it,” said witness Joe Wysocki.
“And there were so many people trapped inside.”
“It was like a big funeral for our city,” he added.