Arson suspected in Hollansburg fires

By Heather Meade hmeade@civitasmedia.com

June 5, 2014

HOLLANSBURG - Two fires occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning in the area of Hollansburg, said Detective Corey Turner with the Darke County Sheriff’s Office. They are suspected of being caused by an “overt human act”, or arson, he added.

A truck fire was reported at 3:06 a.m., and a house fire was reported at 3:32 a.m., Turner noted. Preliminary investigations by the Ohio State Fire Marshal found indications of arson. The two are not believed to be related based on preliminary investigations, though they are both still being investigated.

There was no one living at the residence at the time of the fire, Turner reported, and there were no injuries that he is aware of.

“Sometimes in these vacant house fires, it might be someone trying to just get rid of property, but they don’t think about the [first responders] that could be injured, and the houses and other property that could be damaged with the high heats and hot embers that go airborne; it can cause a lot more damage than that one house. Not to mention the cost to the taxpayers,” Turner commented.

The fires are still under investigation, Turner noted, so he couldn’t say whether the homeowner was suspected in this case. If anyone has information, they are asked to contact Detective Turner at the Darke County Sheriff’s Office by calling 937-548-2020 or the Ohio State Fire Marshal at 800-589-2728 or emailing websfm@com.state.oh.us.

“No information is too inconsequential - it could be nothing, or it could be something huge, so please, let us know so that we can follow up on it,” Detective Turner stated.

The Ohio Blue Ribbon Arson Committee is offering a potential reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the person(s) responsible for these fires, Turner added.

Initial responders Saturday morning included Hollansburg Community Fire Department, Darke County Sheriff’s Office, New Madison Fire Department, Tri-Village Rescue, Liberty Township Fire Department, and Greenville Township Fire Department. The Ohio State Fire Marshal is currently investigating in conjunction with the Darke County Sheriff’s Office.