Vacant houses torched; Toledo officials look for arsonist - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Vacant houses torched; Toledo officials look for arsonist

By Joe Stoll - bio | email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Several fires overnight have Toledo fire officials looking for a possible arsonist.

Two of the fires were in the 300 block of Spencer and another in the 1000 block of Gordon Street.

First, two vacant houses on Spencer were set on fire. Both suffered major damage.

While fire crews were still at the scene of that fire, another started on Gordon Street, just a few blocks away. That vacant house also suffered major damage.

Investigators say there has been a rash of vacant house fires in the last week in this area. Neighbors say they are fearing someone is going to get killed or hurt if the person responsible isn't caught soon.

Toledo's assistant fire chief says crews have increased their investigative efforts. He encourages people to report suspicious activity around abandoned homes.

However, folks who live near the homes want firefighters and police to increase patrols.

"You got innocent people sleeping next door in both houses," said neighbor Kevin Depew. "They are getting woke up out of a sound sleep not knowing if they're going to die or not."

One mother who lives in the area has a message for the arsonist(s):

"Stay off the streets," said Heather Orth. "Stop burning these homes down. Next thing you know, one of these other homes are going to catch fire and you're going to kill somebody.  Think about your family and if you want them to be alive or dead before you go setting these houses and putting our families at jeopardy."

Firefighters aren't sure if the same person set all of the fires.

If you have information that could help officials, call CrimeStopper at 419-255-1111.

Copyright WTOL 2010. All rights reserved.

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