Chillicothe Fire Dept. Seeking Help In Arson Investigations

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A string of arsons in Chillicothe has the fire department looking to the public for help.

A total of five arsons have been reported so far in 2012.

Assistant Fire Chief Steve Gallagher says the department has gathered general information about each fire.

Gallagher says the next step is to narrow down their findings.

"We've talked to some individuals that we feel have information about it and we have some ideas of which direction to go, but it's just finding that piece of information that we can confirm," says Gallagher.

Fire officials say the first fire was spotted at a vacant home on Mulberry Street in January.

The second fire started at a former train depot at South Sugar and East Main Streets in February.

In April, fire officials were called to a possible electrical fire at the Sherwin Williams store on North Bridge Street.

The fourth fire was reported at another vacant home on Clay Street in June.

The final fire happened at yet another vacant home that was in the process of being remodeled on East Water Street last month.

Gallagher says so far there is no evidence confirming that the five fires were started by one single person or persons.

"I don't think we have actually made any physical connection with evidence that they are connected. There is some suspicion that a couple of them may be but I don't think all five are connected," he says.

Gallagher says the fire department needs the public's help in furthering their investigations.

"We have done a lot of interviews and we are starting to hear the same stories over and over," he says. "But we are not getting fresh information. We are hoping that this will stimulate some of that fresh information."

Gallagher says there are many ways the public can help assist the fire department.

Chief Gallagher is urging people to call him at 740-773-2212 if they have any information that can help further the investigations into these fires.

"The biggest thing is just to listen to people," he says. "Often times, you will over hear someone bragging at a restaurant or in a bar or something along that line, and if they have heard that let us know and give us some information so we can track that down and see if there's anything to it."

Anyone with information can also call Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers at 740-773-TIPS if they wish to remain anonymous.