City demolishes house destroyed by suspicious fire

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A home on Drummer Avenue was reduced to rubble Friday when inspectors deemed it too dangerous to leave standing.

Around 3:15 A.M. Friday, the fire department responded a call in the 100 block of Drummer Avenue to find the two-story house engulfed in flames. No one was living there at the time and investigators are calling the fire suspicious.

Smoke and flames jumped to the neighboring houses on either side. One of the houses was vacant and the family living in the other house evacuated safely.

Crews were attempting to contain hot spots and flare ups in all of the houses for 5 hours. They estimated damage to the occupied house at close to $20,000.

District Fire Chief James Rose ordered an emergency demolition of the house where the fire started. He said the building was structurally unsound and its design was making it difficult to monitor hot spots.

Housing inspectors approved the demolition and began tearing down the home around 8:00 A.M.

It was already torn down when neighbor Clarissa Davis woke Friday morning. She was shocked to see the pile of rubble and even more concerned to learn about the suspicious fire that destroyed it.

“I’m baffled,” Davis said. “It shouldn’t even happen, period. Nobody should wake up in the morning and see their home gone.”

Initially, witnesses reported the people living in the destroyed house had moved out 24 to 48 hours prior to the fire. After the demolition, the homeowner arrived on scene and told 2 News she was still in the process of moving.

She said she had piled most of her belongings near the door Thursday night, planning to pick them up during the day Friday. She was prepared to finalize a sale Friday afternoon.

The homeowner told our crew she believes she knows who started the fire and had already reported that person to police.

Investigators are following up on leads and hoping footage from a neighbor’s security camera can provide evidence.

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