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Published: Wednesday, 6/15/2005

Fire authorities investigating 3 arsons

Three arson fires yesterday had Toledo fire officials investigating whether the blazes were started by the same person or group of people.

The fires at 866 Nebraska Ave., 833 Oakwood Ave., and 1312 Vance St. occurred between 4:03 a.m. and 2:03 p.m. yesterday.

Another suspicious fire occurred nearby at 916 North Miller St. Sunday morning. It caused extensive damage to that house.

It s hard to say if one person is doing this, Battalion Fire Chief Eric Renzhofer said. But when you get four fires like this in the same general area, you ve got something happening here.

The first fire yesterday occurred inside a vacant house at 866 Nebraska at 4:03 a.m., causing about $30,000 in damage, Chief Renzhofer said.

As firefighters were wrapping up that blaze, they were called to a second fire at a large vacant two-story duplex at 833 Oakwood about 6:51 a.m. Flames were roaring from the second floor and roof when firefighters arrived.

Chief Renzhofer said firefighters worked to save the occupied home next to the burning wood-frame structure.

He said the smell of gasoline was detected as firefighters battled the blaze. Damage to that structure was estimated at $20,000.

Firefighters were sent to the third vacant house fire at 1312 Vance at 2:03 p.m. Chief Renzhofer said that fire had multiple points of origin, similar to the North Miller fire on Sunday.

He said neighbors told investigators the two-story house had been vacant since last year when another fire damaged the structure.

Neighbors said homeless people had removed boards and were entering the house from a rear door, Chief Renzhofer said.

The damage estimate was listed at $23,000.

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