Fires intentionally set, investigation underway


Three early morning fires leave investigators searching for who is responsible.

The first home, 1319 Wellesley avenue in Steubenville, fire fighters were called to just before 1:30 Saturday morning. The next house that caught fire was 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue. This property sits on the corner next to a vacant lot. The call for that came in just before 4 a.m. The last property 1422 rear Oregon avenue. The garage turned into an apartment caught fire just after 4:30 a.m.

All of the properties had one thing in common according to Thomas Burchfield the Steubenville fire inspector, “All three of the properties were vacant properties. It appears 2 of the three were unsecured which means they had either open windows or open doors which led to easy access to whoever was in there setting these fires."

Twenty-one firefighters worked all morning controlling the blaze.

Burchfield told NEWS9 that the fires started in different rooms in each of the homes, “Where the fires were in the house it was a matter of convenience depending on which way they accessed the house. It appears some of the houses they came through the front door others it came through the back door hence the different location of where the fire started in the homes."

All three of the homes are within two blocks of one another. Now officials are working together to piece together the incidents.

“Arsons are a very hard crime to prosecute it's hard to find evidence when stuff is burned up. I mean there's camera footage and stuff like that but one of the best things you can have is an eye witness or somebody who saw somebody do something,” Burchfield said.

Officials urge if anyone in this area saw something around the times these fires started to call police.

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