Three ‘suspicious’ area fires under investigation


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A string of weekend fires has been labeled “suspicious” by area fire chiefs.

On Friday, Jan. 13, fire departments around the area were kept busy when a number of vacant buildings went up in flames.

The first fire happened on Lardon Ave in Malvern, right off 43 around 11 p.m.

Great Trail Fire Chief Ralph Castelucci said the home was vacant and the power was turned off to the house after the house caught fire a few months ago in 2022.

“We got a call about a house burning,” he said. “When I got here, there was a guy here who said he drove by and went to Waynesburg, thought he seen smoke when he went by, but when he come back through he said ‘I definitely see some smoke’ so he stopped.”

The Lardon Ave home was deemed a total loss.

“It was burning from the basement to the second floor when we got here…they tried to make entry, it was below them and above them. We went to defensive for safety reasons.”

As of the cause of the fire, Chief Castelucci said the fire started in the basement, but they aren’t sure of the cause. The Lardon Ave fire has been labeled suspicious at this time.

The Sandy Creek Fire District was on scene for assistance for a little bit, but they were then dispatched to a barn fire on Myers Rd off Route 30 outside of East Rochester.

When they arrived to the scene, they located a barn fully engulfed in flames at the old Coal Wash property in Columbiana County.

Crews later responded to a fire at the old East Carroll nursing home building in East Township (Carroll County).

All fires considered suspicious and arson is a consideration.