September 1, 2014

Elyria
Partly cloudy
72°F
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Fire at vacant Elyria home ruled arson

ELYRIA — A fire overnight that damaged a vacant Elyria home has been ruled arson, according to the state fire marshal’s office.

The home, 223 Chestnut St., has been the scene of “multiple suspicious fires” recently, according to a police report.

Accelerants were detected at the scene, the report said.

An Elyria police officer patrolling on Second Street noticed a large amount of smoke a little after 4 a.m. He called the Fire Department, who determined the smoke and flames were coming from a home at 223 Chestnut Street.

“The interior first floor was filled with smoke and a wall was engulfed in flames,” according to the report.

Officers were unable to gain entry to the home, and yelled to determine if there were any occupants. They then evacuated the occupant at 10 Crehore, which was 5 feet from the burning home, and also awoke a man sleeping in a nearby camper shell.

According to the state fire marshal’s office, firefighters were able to contain the fire to one first-floor room.

Accelerants were detected at the scene, fire Capt. Joseph Pronesti told police, adding that there have been “multiple suspicious fires at this residence recently.”

The home was not occupied, but firefighters found mattresses in the home, indicating a person or persons may be staying there, according to the Fire Department.

The police officer found the exterior front storm door standing open and found “significant damage to the interior door near the locking mechanism and doorknob,” according to the police report.

The state fire marshal’s office asks anyone who has information about the fire to contact them or the Elyria police.

“If they saw something unusual or hear someone talking about it with unusual amount of knowledge” call us, said spokesman Shane Cartmill.

Contact the state fire marshal’s office at 1-800-589-2728 and Elyria police at 323-3302.