Two fires on Linden Ave. highlight arson problem

Fire on Linden Ave. (WDTN photo/Chris Smith)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Firefighters were called back to a house on Linden Avenue early Thursday morning, just hours after putting out a fire there.

The first fire was reported around 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday. District Fire Chief Scott Rowlett said a passerby spotted flames coming from the porch. Rowlett said the fire was on the right side of number 158 and crews quickly put it out.

Around 1:00 a.m. firefighters were called back to the same address for another fire, this time on the left side of the house. That fire was also extinguished quickly.

Rowlett said the building is divided into apartments, which made it harder for his crews to fight. He was also concerned about the integrity of the structure because it has burned before.

Rowlett said Thursday’s fire was the third time he had been at that address in recent weeks. He believes someone is targeting the neighborhood.

“We definitely have an arson problem in this area,” he said after Wednesday’s fire.

Rowlett said there have been at least ten suspicious fires in the area recently.

On September 30, 2 NEWS was there when firefighters responded to a garage fire on the same property.

Rowlett said it’s unclear if the same person is responsible for all of the fires. He is encouraging neighbors to report anything suspicious.

“Our concern is that somebody sets the fire, it goes unnoticed for a while and this house that’s behind me is just a big bonfire, so to speak; it’s too big to control,” he said.

“Obviously, whoever’s starting this, it’s not a thrill for anybody. You’re just causing damage to people’s property and their safety. Just stop and get help if you need help. And if you don’t, we’re going to help you.”

Rowlett said the arsonist will be prosecuted if caught.

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