Fire inspectors in Jefferson County have called state investigators to help them with a string of fires over the weekend. The investigation is on-going after two vacant houses on N. 8th St. in Steubenville caught fire just before midnight Saturday night. Then, 20 minutes later, another fire on Marsh Alley was destroyed another unoccupied home. The homes are only about a block and a half away from each other.
There has been an issue with vacant and unoccupied home fires in the city over the past few months. A problem city officials are hoping to ease with a demolition program now in progress.
“By this time next year probably about 90 of those vacant structures will be demolished through that program,” said Steubenville Fire Chief Carlo Capaldi. “That’ll go a long way towards helping this, and if someone does have a structure that is unoccupied: make sure everything is locked up, any open windows or doors are boarded up. And, then, the police regularly patrol the areas, too, so that’s pretty much what we can do to make sure nobody is inside these houses causing any mischief.”
Capaldi also said that as of right now that have no link that ties all of these fires together, but they are looking into the possibility during this investigation.