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Babcock Dairy fire in west Toledo ruled arson; reward offered for information

Information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect is eligible for a $5,000 reward under the Ohio Blue Ribbon Arson Program.

TOLEDO, Ohio — A major fire last week at an abandoned west Toledo building was ruled arson on Wednesday.

The former Babcock Dairy, located at 945 Berdan Ave., caught fire March 15. The Toledo Fire Investigation Unit determined the cause was arson.

Investigators found signs whoever started the fire used an "accelerant" to make it burn quickly.

"When our fire investigative unit comes out, they're not necessarily looking specifically for an arson fire, they're looking for the cause of the fire. If that leads them down that road, then that's where that leads them," TFRD Pvt. Sterling Rahe said.

Rahe says a K-9 unit found debris that had traces of the accelerant.

"That shouldn't have been in the building in those areas," he said.

Rahe says there are "persons of interest," and investigators caught them on camera.

"There is some video evidence they have in their possession that would allow them to determine that there may have been some people in the area that weren't supposed to be in the area," Rahe said.

Information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect is eligible for a $5,000 reward under the Ohio Blue Ribbon Arson Program. If you have information related to this incident, please call or text Crime Stoppers at 419-255-1111. You can remain anonymous.

Firefighters were initially called to the abandoned facility at the intersection of shortly after 3 a.m. March 15. 

Crews could not enter the building, as it would be unsafe for them to work on the structure. No one was inside the building at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries, firefighters said.

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