SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Springfield fire officials have confirmed to 2 NEWS that the most recent fire on Sunday at the vacant Cooper Electric Services is considered to be suspicious.
The property burned for about three and a half hours on Sunday, as the Springfield Assistant Fire Chief, Rodney Rahrle, said his crews worked to put out flames from multiple fires set.
Penny Richards lives directly across from the old industrial complex on Sheridan Ave. and said the black smoke on Sunday filled the air.
“It had a smell to it, like rubber and the smell was so bad,” said Richards. “Things were coming out of the building and coming over in the yard.”
Richards and Rahrle said this is becoming a regular occurrence, as this was the sixth fire started inside the vacant property since August.
“We actually got a call from the owner that has security cameras in there, and told us there were folks inside and saw someone with a gas can,” said Rahrle.
Rahrle said all of the fires are being considered suspicious, because this seemed to be the work of someone intentionally trying to burn the building down, not a homeless person keeping warm.
“It appears they’re intent on burning that building down and they start multiple fires inside the building, or multiple points of origin, and in one case, they came back and started the fire after we left about an hour or so,” said Rahrle. “We have good video and eventually we’re going to catch this person or group of people. And it won’t be so funny then.”
Rahrle said during the most recent fire on Sunday, there was another house fire on Scott Street so they had to use all resources, even called in off duty firefighters.
“It really does affect if someone were in a severe automobile accident, or having a heart attack, stroke, a serious medical issue, we wouldn’t have anyone to send,” said Rahrle.
When asked, Rahrle said there are many rumors about the building’s future which is owned by Mosier Industrial, but Richards, and many others who live near the complex said something needs to be done.
“I think they need to tear it down, it’d be so much better for everybody,” said Richards.
Rahrle is asking anyone near Sheridan Avenue with surveillance video to come forward so they can compare it with pictures they got from Mosier Industrial.
2 NEWS has reached out to Mosier Industrial to find out more about their plans moving forward with the building, but we have not received a response.
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