A Washington County, Nebraska plant burned down in 2008 and now its owner is facing charges.
There used to be a manufacturing plant along Highway 75 in Nashville, Nebraska. Neighbors say it was massive and they haven't forgotten the fire that destroyed it.
"You just heard booms, booms and then, I mean, the flames were hugely high,” says Ellie Lancaster, recalling the night when the PK Manufacturing Corporation's plant was consumed by fire. "We were up looking out the window watching everything."
She lives across the street from where it once stood. “Fall time, the wind is blowing, it is dry. The house could easily have been sparked."
Only the plant went down with the flames. “I got the call around 5:15, found out the building was on fire, really don't know too much at this time." That was plant owner and president Tom Schropp being interviewed four years ago by Channel 6 News reporter John Chapman.
The U.S. attorney's office believes he was lying back then. Schropp is being charged for willfully causing another to maliciously destroy the plant by fire.
“We heard rumors anyway that he had been losing business and you could see that there were fewer employees, employees’ cars there, so it isn't totally surprising,” says Lancaster, who hopes justice is done. "It's an inconsiderate thing to do to the people around you, so I think he deserves what he got, what he is getting."
If convicted, Schropp could be looking at 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Prosecutors say Schropp filed an insurance claim after the fire, wanting $4.3 million.