Toledo Fire & Rescue Dept. investigating string of arsons in Toledo community
TOLEDO, Ohio — The Toledo Fire and Rescue Department is investigating a string of arsons, all within just a few miles, even blocks of each other. One of them occurred on Junction Avenue — and caused significant damage.
This list shows you just how concentrated in nature they were. Sterling Rahe, public information officer for TFRD, tells me investigators have been on the case and will continue to look into each fire. He also acknowledges a sense of fear among some neighbors in the wake of the recent blazes.
He says the belief is these homes were targets due to several factors, including the fact their utilities weren’t connected and they were vacant, allowing easy access in and out. Not revealing insider knowledge, Rahe added that the department can say with certainty these were arson cases, due to the fact the opportunity for a fire to start naturally just wasn’t present.
With regard to if the department is noticing an uptick in arsons, he told me that its year-to-year data shows increases around this time of year. However, the only way to be effective in keeping those numbers low, is engaging residents, especially if they notice, for example, folks going in and out of vacant properties.
“If you see something, say something. If you see something that’s going on in that neighborhood or any neighborhood and it just doesn’t seem right or feel right, call 911 and let somebody know. They can come out and investigate it and maybe stop that action before it even becomes a problem,” Rahe explained.
One other thing Rahe mentioned during our conversation is the fact you never truly know why arsonists do what they do. It can be something they’re experiencing mentally, or even a feeling of being wronged in some way. Regardless, vacant homes and buildings are their usual targets.