OTTAWA — Two suspicious fires occurred Friday morning in Ottawa in two abandoned houses owned by the village. Now officials are looking for help in figuring out who set them.
The first, at 315 N. Perry St., was called in by a driver at 5:11 a.m., according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. The Ottawa and Glandorf fire departments responded.
The Ottawa Fire Department called in the second fire, at 529 W. Third St., at 7:19 a.m. while they were still on scene at the first fire. The Leipsic and Kalida Fire Departments responded, but once the fire at the first house was under control the Ottawa Fire Department took over. All mutual aid fire departments were back in service by 10:36 a.m., with the Ottawa Fire Department remaining on scene.
Both houses were scheduled to be demolished, according to the sheriff’s office, and are both total losses due to the fires.
Investigators from the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s office have labeled both fires as arson. Blue arson signs have been placed at both residences, informing the public of a reward of up to $5,000 for any information leading to the identification of those responsible for these fires.
Investigators are asking members of the public to come forward if they saw something out of the ordinary at those locations at or around the time of the fire, as well as if anyone has heard people talking about the fire with an unusual level of interest or knowledge.
Any tips can be relayed to the State Fire Marshal’s Fire and Explosion Investigation Bureau tip line at 800-589-2728. The fire marshal’s office is continuing the investigation. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Ottawa Police Department, Putnam County EMS and Dominion Gas all rendered assistance during the incidents.