April 18, 2014

Elyria
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North Ridgeville authorities investigate suspected arson

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Police and fire officials are investigating a suspected arson that caused slight damage to a home after a “Molotov cocktail” was tossed against it.

The incident occurred June 23 when a man living in the 5700 block of Tree Moss Lane heard a loud noise about 10:20 p.m. and went outside to discover flames on the side of a house next door, according to North Ridgeville Police Lt. Greg Petek.

The man then called police who responded along with the Fire Department.

“By the time police and firefighters arrived the fire was already extinguished,” Petek said, adding that the neighbor had put the flames out with a garden hose.

The fire began in a pile of cut branches and debris that were against the north side of the house, which had been unoccupied for some time, Petek said.

“Police smelled the odor of gasoline,” Petek said.

Damage was slight to the ranch-style home, which authorities believe had not been lived in for about five years, Petek said.

Police found a storm door leading to an attached garage was ajar and concluded it was forced open in an attempt to get inside the house.

“No one could get inside because there was a pile of items up against the inside of the door,” Petek said.

Assistant Fire Chief Scott Bement found a “Molotov cocktail” bottle with a rag and accelerant on the floor of the house below a broken window the following morning.

The house’s owner, who lives outside the area, was eventually located, Petek said.

Police have no suspects in the case but ask anyone with information to call police at 327-2191, or the North Ridgeville Fire Department at 327-5311.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.