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Published: Monday, 5/10/2010

Suspected arson fire destroys South Toledo apartment building


A South Toledo home was damaged early Monday by flames that originated next door with the suspected arson of a vacant apartment, authorities said.

The suspicious blaze was reported about 4:05 a.m. Monday at 902 Orchard Street, a six-unit apartment building with no tenants, Battalion Chief Jerry Abair said. The flames quickly reached the one-story home at 906 Orchard, where two people lived.

"It was less than a foot away," Chief Abair said of the proximity of the two buildings. "You could literally reach out and touch your neighbor there."

The apartment, which according to county records was purchased by Lawrence Cline, Jr., of Port Clinton, for $140,000 in 2005, was a total loss and was ordered to be demolished by city crews.

The house, owned by Jeffrey Burch, sustained about $25,000 in damage, Chief Abair said. One of the female residents is being treated for cancer, and asked fire crews to retrieve medication for the disease from the burning home, he added.

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