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Published: Tuesday, 3/31/2009

Bond set at $225,000 for suspected arsonist

BLADE STAFF

Bond was set at $225,000 during an arraignment Tuesday morning in Toledo Municipal Court for an 18-year-old man accused of setting fire to nine vacant houses in Toledo’s Old South End.

Allen Quintanilla, of 219 Eastern Ave., was charged with nine counts of breaking and entering and one count of criminal trespassing. Arson charges are pending, authorities said.

Tonya and Leroy Smith, whose home at 237 Sumner St. was destroyed by a fire that had spread, attended the arraignment. Mrs. Smith said she knew Mr. Quintanilla from the neighborhood.

He shook her hand and told her everything would be OK the night of the fire. The fire was started at 239 Sumner and heavily damaged houses on both side, including the Smith residence.

Mrs. Smith, her husband, their three children, and her mother-in-law were in the house when the blaze spread to their house.

"He could have took our lives that night," Mrs. Smith said.

The vacant houses set on fire were at 1113 Broadway St.; 411 Courtland Ave.; 201 Eastern Ave.; 329 Western Ave.; 1113 Western Ave.; 239 Sumner St.; 258 Wasaon St.; 404 Western Ave, and 523 Knower St.

The fires were set between Feb. 14 and Saturday and typically occurred between 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m.



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