Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Was arson at play in overnight house fire?

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 8/7/2013

Authorities are investigating the cause of a “suspicious” fire that destroyed a mobile home overnight Tuesday on Ottawa’s east side.

Ottawa firefighters received a report of a residential fire at 11:56 p.m. Tuesday at 821 E. Walton St., Ottawa, and found a mobile home ablaze, fire officials said.

Authorities are investigating the cause of a “suspicious” fire that destroyed a mobile home overnight Tuesday on Ottawa’s east side.

Ottawa firefighters received a report of a residential fire at 11:56 p.m. Tuesday at 821 E. Walton St., Ottawa, and found a mobile home ablaze, fire officials said.

“It was heavily involved when we got there,” Richard Oglesby, assistant fire chief with the Ottawa Fire Department, said.

The fire also had spread to trees that had grown up around the vacant trailer, Oglesby said.

“It took us about 20 minutes to put out the fire,” he said.

Firefighters determined no one was in the trailer, and no firefighters were injured battling the blaze, according to a fire report.

“The trailer was vacant, but we’re not sure how long it’s been [unoccupied],” Oglesby said.

The assistant fire chief said he thought the mobile home had been a rental property at one time. The owner was listed as David R. Brown of Ottawa, Oglesby said. Brown could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Multiple witnesses called in a residential fire about midnight, which turned out to be the vacant trailer, according to a Ottawa police report.

No utilities were connected to the home, Oglesby said. The fire is being investigated as a possible arson, though the cause had not been determined, he said Wednesday afternoon.

The joint investigation is being conducted by the Ottawa fire and police departments, Oglesby said.

The trailer was a total loss, the fire report said. Damage was estimated at $7,480, Oglesby said.

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