Police on the Lookout for Arsonist in Martins Ferry, OH

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An innocent person could be hurt or killed because of someone’s fascination with watching a house burn down.

Martins Ferry Fire Chief Jack Regis says two houses have burned down in the past week.

Both stood empty for about a decade, and both had no gas or electric hooked up.

Chief Regis says all accidental and natural causes have been ruled out, and they’re now looking for an arsonist.

And the loss of the buildings is not the worst part.

The chief says in Sunday’s fire on Crawford Street, the neighbors were in danger, and two were handicapped.

“One structure had a gentleman who was in a wheelchair,” said Regis. “The other had an elderly female who was on oxygen therapy. Just because of their health, trying to get out, they could have possibly been injured. And they’re truly innocent victims in all this.”

If you live in a neighborhood of Martins Ferry where there are empty houses, the chief urges you to watch out for strangers or unfamiliar vehicles, and get a description.

And if you see any activity near an abandoned structure, call the police at (740) 633-2121.

There is a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist, through the State Fire Marshal’s Blue Ribbon Task Force On Arson.

The houses that were burned down were at 329 North Zane Highway and 616 Crawford Street.

The house on North Zane Highway has already been torn down because it was unstable and posed a hazard to nearby homes.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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