Crash leads to house fire in Henry County

Toledoan accused in vehicle theft linked to blaze


NAPOLEON — A Toledo man was arrested Wednesday after a car plowed into a home about 10 miles southeast of this Henry County community, caught fire, and set the home ablaze, leaving a couple and their three children homeless, authorities said.

Jeffery Lauharn, 36, of 230 13th St., was video arraigned on a vehicle theft charge at Napoleon Municipal Court on Wednesday and ordered held in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio near Stryker in lieu of $10,000 bond.

Mr. Lauharn posted the bond and was released late Wednesday, jail officials said. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday.

The family escaped safely. The alleged driver of the car was taken to Henry County Hospital for treatment, according to Henry County sheriff's Sgt. Sean Walker. The suspect was later released from the hospital.

Sergeant Walker said the crash was reported at 12:44 a.m. Wednesday. Deputies said the car was northbound on County Road 7, had just crossed County Road J when it went out of control, striking the home of Travis and Angel Swihart.

After hitting the home, the vehicle caught fire, and the blaze spread to the house, destroying it, Sergeant Walker said. The driver of the car fled immediately after the crash.

Deputies traced the owner of the car to James Rohde, 74, of County Road 7, of nearby Grelton, Sergeant Walker said. Deputies questioned Mr. Rohde, learning that he picked up Mr. Lauharn in Toledo, and the pair returned to the Rohde home. Mr. Rohde said the car was taken without his permission, Sergeant Walker said.

About 7 a.m. Wednesday, Mr. Rohde called the sheriff's office to report that Mr. Lauharn had returned to his home, where deputies arrested him, according to the sheriff's office.