Suspicious fire in East Monroe


Fire chief: Unoccupied structure was total loss

By Jeff Gilliland - jgilliland@timesgazette.com



A morning fire of a suspicious nature destroyed an unoccupied home Tuesday in East Monroe, according to Highland County North Joint Fire and Ambulance District Chief Kenny Stevens.

Stevens said his Leesburg department was dispatched to 10874 SR 28 in East Monroe at approximately 7:15 a.m. He said that upon arrival firefighters found one side of the one-and-a-half story structure fully engulfed in flames with the fire spreading throughout the building.

The fire chief said the former farm house was unoccupied. He said a man named Andy Smith was serving as caretaker of the structure after the former residents, Smith’s parents, passed away.

The structure was a total loss, Stevens said.

SR 28 was completely closed for a time at the intersection of Barger Road, and then was reduced to one lane for a longer period of time. Stevens said that was because firefighters were not originally sure where the driveway to the structure was located, and then due to the number of departments that responded to the fire, causing firefighting apparatus to have to be parked on the road.

Stevens said he was not sure how the fire started, but said it was believed to be suspicious, and that the State Fire Marshal’s Office was on the scene Tuesday trying to determine the cause.

There were no injuries, Stevens said.

Mutual was provided at the scene by the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District, Clinton-Highland Joint Fire District from New Vienna and Concord-Green Volunteer Fire Department from Washington C.H., while Wayne Township Fire and Rescue from Washington C.H. covered the Paint Creek station.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

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Fire chief: Unoccupied structure was total loss

By Jeff Gilliland

jgilliland@timesgazette.com