Fire crews looking for a small fire in North Toledo stumbled upon a different, much larger, house fire in the 700 block of Buffalo Street Monday morning.
The fire at a vacant home at 712 Buffalo was reported by fire engine 3 at about 7:30 a.m., said fire Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld. An hour later, crews were still on scene battling the blaze.
It’s unclear what exactly caused the fire, but neighbors said the property has been vacant for years.
“It’s a deep-seated fire,” the lieutenant said.
The fire on Buffalo was the fourth vacant house fire in the Sunday night to Monday morning period, Lieutenant Hertzfeld said.
Since midnight Friday, the Toledo Fire Department has responded to more than 500 incidents, six of which were working fires. The run number also includes the triple shooting on Cherry Street Friday night in which a 19-year-old man was killed.
“We’re busier than what we’re used to,” Lieutenant Hertzfeld said. “We’re working to the max.”
The normal weekend call for service number is closer to 400 or 450.
The lieutenant said it’s difficult to say, at this point, whether any of the fires are related, but ongoing investigations will likely give authorities more clues.
Some of the fires, he said, could be copy cats.
The lieutenant said that neighbors who live near vacant homes should remain vigilant and if they see suspicious activity, to report it to police.
He also cautioned anyone near vacant properties to have a fire evacuation plan in case the fire spreads.
Video from the scene in the 700 block of Buffalo.