A 36-year-old Georgetown man is in jail on arson charges after setting a propane tank on fire near Hardinsburg.

Matthew Mertz, 36, Georgetown, Indiana was arrested. He had recently re-located to the Hardinsburg area.

He was placed under arrest and transported to the Washington County Detention Center, where he was booked in and charged with Arson, Intimidation, Burglary and Possession of Methamphetamine.

On October 25, 2020, at approximately 7:51 am, members of the Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched to 102 Lapping Ave. in Hardinsburg.

The fire department responded to a report of a propane tank that was on fire, in the back yard of a residence.

Once firefighters began to arrive, they were confronted by a male subject, armed with a pair of scissors.

This male subject then threw a small propane tank (commonly used for a grill) toward the large tank that was on fire.

Mertz then began to approach the fire fighters with the scissors in his hand.

One of the fire fighters was carrying a handgun.

The fire fighter drew his handgun and advised Mertz to drop the scissors.

Mertz then put the scissors in his pocket.

Once the police arrived, at the scene, he was detained.

Upon further investigation by the police, it was discovered that Mertz had set the initial large propane tank on fire.


Deputy Allen Taylor is the investigating officer and was assisted by Deputy Nathan Maudlin and Conservation Officer Neal Brewington.

All suspects are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.