December 20, 2014

Elyria
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Arson suspected cause of fire on Fowl Road

Firefighters spray water on a fire that burned a vacant home on Fowl Road just inside Amherst Township on Monday. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Firefighters spray water on a fire that burned a vacant home on Fowl Road just inside Amherst Township on Monday. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

AMHERST TWP. — A suspected arson fire destroyed a vacant house at 9372 Fowl Road about a quarter-mile north of Albrecht Road about 5 p.m. Monday.

Ken Welton, of 9240 Fowl Road, said he saw four teenaged boys wearing black shorts jogging north on Fowl around the time of the fire.

“I thought it was just a track team,” he said.

A massive fire burns at a house on Fowl Road.

A massive fire burns at a house on Fowl Road.

Detective Sgt. Randal Koubeck of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office said that after the fire, deputies went to the home of one of the boys in a housing development near Fowl Road. He said the boys ran, but one was apprehended. Koubeck said the boy was questioned and gave deputies the names of the other boys, who Koubeck said will be questioned.

Lenny Price, of 9300 Fowl Road, lives next door to the home, which he said has been vacant since he moved into his home in 2007. Price said he saw the boys by the house shortly before the fire. Price said after seeing the boys, he went outside his home and heard a crackling sound coming from next door.

Price said he saw fire inside the home and called 911, but about 10 minutes later the house was engulfed in flames.

“It happened pretty quickly,” said Price, adding that the south side of his house sustained heat damage.

The house was completely ablaze when firefighters arrived, said South Amherst Fire Chief Al Schmitz.

Schmitz said no one was hurt fighting the fire and it was controlled around 5:55 p.m. The Amherst, Elyria Township, Florence Township and Oberlin fire departments helped fight the fire. There are no hydrants on Fowl Road, so water was provided from pumper trucks.

Schmitz said the house was a total loss but didn’t have a damage estimate.

The 2,156-square-foot home had a value of nearly $126,000, according to the Lorain County auditor’s website.

Homeowner Dan Goldsmith, reached by phone after the fire, wouldn’t comment.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

Arson Investigation

  • Anyone with information on a suspected arson fire at 9372 Fowl Road that leads to a conviction, may be eligible for a $5,000 reward, said Detective Sgt. Randal Koubeck of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office. Koubeck can be reached at (440) 329-3747.