House Fire Could Be Arson

By
Susan Tebben - Athens Messenger staff reporter

Dateline
Updated Wed, Sep 11, 2013 11:35 am

The Nelsonville Fire Department had a busy scheduled late Tuesday and early Wednesday with seven runs in 24 hours, including a suspicious fire on Church Street.

The biggest part of the night was a house fire at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at 155 Church Street, which investigators are looking at as a possible arson.

“There was major damage and it’s hard to tell where it started,” said Nelsonville Fire Chief Dean Russell Wednesday morning. “It was determined to be suspicious by the nature of it.”

There were no injuries from the fire and the home owner was not in the house at the time, but firefighters were suffering from the heat of the day and the fire, Russell said. Mutual aid from The Plains, York Twp., Murray City and Logan Fire Departments were called in to help.

Firefighters finally left the seen at around 11 p.m., but returned at 1:20 a.m. when fire that was hidden in the walls rekindled and the blaze started up again.

Fire crews from the NFD also responded to an apartment fire at 900 Harper Street in the Victorian Village apartments at about 5 p.m. An apartment building was evacuated when a fire apparently started in the bathroom of one apartment.

“It started in the bathroom, extended into the attic, but was contained to that apartment,” Russell said.

No injuries were reported from the fire and a cause had not been determined.

At about 8:40 p.m., fire crews responded to the North Hall of Hocking College on a smoke detector activation, and returned to the same place at 4:40 a.m., determining that the smoke detector was faulty.

To finish the runs, an overheated sump pump shorted out in a basement, causing smoke at a 699 High Street home. No injuries were reported there either.

The cost of the damages on the fires had not been assessed, according to Russell.

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