Arson in Wapak being investigated

By Bryan Reynolds -

WAPAKONETA — A July 1 fire has been ruled arson.

The State Fire Marshal’s Fire and Explosion Investigation Bureau is looking into a fire that happened at 5:30 a.m. July 1 at 212 E. Auglaize St.

Wapakoneta Fire Department Chief Tony Stinebaugh said the Wapakoneta Police Department alerted firefighters after receiving a call almost an hour after the fire.

The person who called was living in a makeshift apartment at the address, which was formerly a maintenance facility for trucks. According to the Auglaize County Auditor’s website, the building’s owner is George C. Klima — and he reported he did not know anyone was living there. Klima had rented space to the person for boat storage, Stinebaugh said.

The renter had guests that evening, Steinbaugh said, after spending time earlier that night at a local bar. After most of the guests left, the individual noticed smoke coming from the apartment and discovered a mattress ablaze. The renter pulled the mattress out of the building and extinguished the flames with a garden hose, Stinebaugh explained.

The captain discovered two points of origin where the fire began, Stinebaugh said, “indicating it was arson.”

The renter provided a list of people who were in the building, and that is now being investigated.

By Bryan Reynolds

Reach Bryan Reynolds 567-242-0362

Reach Bryan Reynolds 567-242-0362