Multiple structure fires tax Ohio FD's resources, lead to arson investigation

Crews from all over city called to respond


By Andy Sedlak and Kareem Elgazzar
Dayton Daily News

DAYTON, Ohio — Firefighters battling three fires in East Dayton on Monday taxed the resources of the fire department and now arson investigators are looking into the fires.

"Arson investigators are investigating all three of them and will make a determination" as to whether they are related, Lt. Mike Fasnacht said Monday while on the scene of a fire that happened around 3:45 p.m. at 36 Klee Ave.

"We've had crews from all over the city brought to this side of town ... it's definitely taxing our resources," he said.

In the Klee Avenue fire, a garage burned.

At about 12:41 p.m., a fire in a home 33 Parnell Ave. claimed the life of a dog, but the people living there escaped uninjured. The residents there included a mother, her boyfriend and four children. Damage was estimated at $50,000 and no cause has been determined for that fire.

Just before 10 a.m., seven of eight Dayton fire engines battled a blaze in a vacant residential structure at 2909 E. Third St. that quickly spread to houses on each side. There were two people inside one of the adjacent houses. They made it out safely, officials said. The other house was empty and in the process of being rehabilitated.

Officials estimated the damage at $50,000.

Mutual aid from Kettering assisted with the fire on Parnell Avenue.

Tim Rose, Dayton District chief, echoed Fasnacht's comments that the the fires Monday "taxed" the department, stretching its resources. One fire official commented that there had only been one hour between the fires on East Third and Parnell.

Neighbors in the area of the East Third Street fire told the Day-ton Daily News that fires at that structure are a recurring problem. According to Assistant Fire Chief Michael Caudill, a garage fire there in 2008 caused $500 in damages and a house fire there in August 2010 caused $20,000 in damage.

There was a notation on that report stating that the structure, which is on the city's nuisance list, had been vacant for years, Caudill said.

Officials have called for an emergency demolition of the building, according to Assistant Fire Chief Jeffrey Payne. "In my opinion, I don't think we're having as many vacant structure fires as we had a year ago," Payne said. "However, it's still a problem."

Year to date, there have been 16 vacant structure fires in Dayton, according to statistics provided by the fire department. In 2011 there were 92 vacant structure fires, totaling approximately $93,000 in damage.

Copyright 2012 Dayton Daily News

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