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Published: Friday, 8/3/2001

Fire destroys 2 houses on Chapin, damages 3rd

Two vacant houses were destroyed and another house damaged extensively yesterday when a fire started in the basement of one of the vacant buildings and spread to the neighboring structures in the 300 block of Chapin Street.

The blaze started in a 1 1/2-story vacant house at 354 Chapin just before 4 a.m. It began near a furnace and a hot-water tank. Flames spread to a single-story house at 352 Chapin and a two-story vacant structure at 358 Chapin. The cause of the fire is undetermined, said Mike Sbrocchi of the fire investigation unit.

Damage to the three dwellings was estimated about $85,000. The vacant houses were demolished by city crews.

Competitive Home Buyers, Inc., of Oregon, owns 354 Chapin. Joan Mungarro of Toledo owns 358 Chapin. Authorities are investigating who owns 352 Chapin, where three men from Russia lived. They were not home when the fire started. The Greater Toledo Chapter of the American Red Cross was called to help the three tenants, Mr. Sbrocchi said.

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