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Published: Wednesday, 11/6/2013

Sylvania Township house burns twice in 24 hours

Minor injuries reported in first fire, none in second fire


A fire of an undetermined origin destroyed a single-family house in Sylvania Township early today -- the second fire there in two days, authorities said.

"All I can say is that we are investigating," Sylvania Township Fire Chief Jeff Kowalski said when asked about the causes and whether the two fires at 5010 Heather Place were related.

A couple and their five children lived in the home and the woman suffered smoke inhalation in the Tuesday fire. She was treated at an area hospital and released the same day, Chief Kowalski said. There were no other injuries, he said.

The first fire -- in a bedroom of the home -- was called in about 10:50 a.m. Tuesday and extinguished by about 3 p.m., at which time fire crews left the scene, according to the township fire dispatch.

Chief Kowalski said the five children and their mother were home when the fire occurred. The woman noticed the fire, took the children to a neighbors' house, returned, and tried to extinguish it before fire crews arrived and did the job, the fire chief said.

The fire was contained to the room of origin and caused an estimated $20,000 damage.

The second fire was reported about 1 a.m. today by a neighbor who told firefighters he heard "two loud booms" and 10 to 15 minutes later saw flames coming from the house, Chief Kowalski said. No one was home when that fire occurred, he said.

Fire crews arrived and saw flames shooting through the roof, the fire chief said. Firefighters fought the blaze from the outside because of the danger of a roof collapse, which occurred about 30 minutes into the fire, he said. The fire was extinguished by about 4 a.m., the chief said

Chief Kowalski estimated the damage from the second fire at about $120,000 to the structure.

The family was in the process of moving to a different home, with the move scheduled to conclude today, the fire chief said.

The fires started at different parts of the house: the first was on a bed in a first-floor bedroom in the eastern part of the house and the second was near the front door at the center of the house, the fire chief said.

The Lucas County Auditor's Web site lists Arbid Wehbi as the owner of the house. The house, built in 1951, is off of Whiteford Road, just north of Alexis Road.


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