Yellow law enforcement tape marks the scene of a house fire which state fire officials believe was intentionally set. The home, located at the corner of West Main and Dismore Street was fully involved when firefighters arrived just before 6:30 a.m. New Year’s Day.
The Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department battled two early morning fires New Year’s Day.
Local firefighters were called to the Abelardo Soto residence at 10795 E. State Road 250 east of Uniontown at 3:07 a.m. where a barn was totally engulfed in flames.
“It had already collapsed when we arrived,” said Crothersville-Vernon Township Fire Chief Charles Densford, who said the fire’s ignition was electrical in origin and caused an estimated $65,000 in damage to building and contents.
As firefighters returned to the station just before 6:30 a.m., they were summoned to 300 W. Main where a home owned by David Smith of Deputy was found to be totally involved.
“Numerous false ceilings and the variety of room additions prevented us from getting to the source of the fire,” said Densford, who added the firefighters efforts were also hampered by temperatures in the teens.
Densford said that Smith had been renting the residence but that previous renters moved out a month or two ago turning off all utilities.
“Since there were no utilities in the building we called the state fire marshal to investigate,” said Densford. “The fire marshal said he believes the fire was intentionally set but so far has no conclusive evidence.”
The investigation is ongoing, said the chief.
Firefighters were on the scene until about 12:30 p.m.
Damage was estimated at $75,000.