Fire Investigators Believe 10 Arsons Linked In South Mansfield


UPDATED: Wednesday July 25, 2012 5:48 PM

An arson investigation in one central Ohio community has residents and firefighters on edge.

According to Chief John Harsch of the Mansfield Fire Department, 10 fires have been set in one south Mansfield neighborhood in the past month.

“Last week, on Tuesday it was 92 degrees when we had our last fire, and we had a firefighter go down because of the heat,” Harsch said. “The day before that, we had a firefighter go down because he fell through the floor of one of these houses and hit his shoulder.”

Rashod Sewell said that flames from the first fire were so intense they signed the siding of the home across the street.

“We walked over and we heard an explosion in the house and we called 911, just in time because it was starting to get bad,” Sewell said.

Sherree Snelling’s home also was set on fire.

“There is one down there that you can see where the grass is, that is one that was burned down,” Snelling said. “Go around that corner on Bentley (Street), you’ve got like three or four of them that have been burned down.”

The most recent fire was on Monday at a vacant home.

Investigators said that every home set on fire has been vacant.

“I live close to a vacant home, like real close to it,” said Simarrah Jackson. “And if they set it on fire in the middle of the night, it could take away my house, and I have five kids to try and get out of the house.”

Harsch said that the city has thrown its support into the ongoing investigation.

“People are scared to go to sleep,” Sewell said. “Like people are really scared to sleep at night.”

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