More Than Half Of Portsmouth Arson Cases Solved

By
WOUB Staff Writer

Dateline
Updated Wed, May 2, 2012 8:16 am

A string of arsons has plagued the city of Portsmouth since the beginning of the year. 

There have been 24 suspicious fires.
 
But on Tuesday there was light at the end of the tunnel -- with more than half of those cases being solved.
 
After months of investigations, the fires are finally being put out -- all through some investigating teamwork by the Portsmouth Fire Department and the Ohio State Fire Marshal's office.
 
There are similarities between the suspects in the Portsmouth arsons and the persons of interest in the Huntington abandoned home arsons; they are all children.
 
Portsmouth Fire Chief Bill Raison says 15 of the 24 suspicious fires were set by a group of five to seven juveniles. 
 
Those cases now go to the county prosecutor's office.
 
Raison says he knows which youngsters set 15 of these fires -- blazes that injured firefighters and threatened neighbors' lives, but he still can't fully answer why.
 
Raison says when arson investigators confronted and interviewed the juvenile suspects, parents got upset, the kids got scared, and the suspicious fires stopped.
 
Scioto County's juvenile prosecutor says he will review each case and determine the proper charges. 
 
Then a judge will decide if any of the youngsters should be removed from their homes and placed in a detention center.
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