The Newark Fire Department is investigating two overnight fires that completely destroyed a commercial building and an abandoned home, and it is calling one of those fires arson.
Both fires happened within a span of three hours and were three miles from each other.
“Suspicious, at this time. They’re both being investigated as suspicious fires, ” says Newark Assistant Fire Chief, John Clouse.
The first fire occurred around 1 a.m. at 373 Iron Avenue. Clouse, says when crews arrived on the scene, they found intense flames coming from the commercial building.
He says all Newark City fire crews were called to the scene, along with assistance from the Heath Fire Department.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Clouse then says a second fire occurred around 4:15 a.m. at an abandoned home on Buckingham Street.
Scott Humphrey lives directly across the street from the house. He says a knock at the door awoke him around the time of the fire.
“I answered the door. It was a gentleman. He said he though the house next door was on fire. I came out to look and said yeah, the house is on fire. So, I went in the house and got the cell phone to call the fire department. When I did, i came out, and he was gone. That was kind of like what the heck is going on here, ” says Humphrey.
Humphrey says the man who told informed him of the fire left in a silver car. Clouse says he hadn’t heard about that report yet.
Clouse says that fire has been ruled arson.
The State Fire Marshall’s Office has been called to investigate both fires. Clouse says he’s not sure if the two are connected.
“We just hope we’re done with them. Glad no body’s been hurt yet and hope no body gets hurt, ” says Clouse.
There has been a handful of fires in the Newark area over the past couple weeks.