City investigates two overnight fires, several others

February 7, 2019
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The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON — Safety concerns continue to plague the city of Huntington after two overnight fires were reported Thursday about 2 miles apart from each other.

The fires make a total of 13 suspicious blazes 38 days into 2019 for the city of Huntington. Two of the 13 spread to neighboring homes.

The first fire on Thursday was reported just before 1 a.m. at 1329 25th St. in the Fairfield neighborhood of Huntington. The fire also caused damage to a neighboring home.

The house was not abandoned, but family had recently moved out after a separate fire at a neighboring home displaced them last week. The structure will be referred to the city’s unsafe building commission to be torn down.

The second fire was reported at an abandoned house at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday at 2755 4th Ave. in the Highlawn neighborhood of Huntington. The structure sustained moderate damage. There are several abandoned houses in the same block.

The two houses are located 2 miles apart.

Thursday’s fires came two days after three houses caught fire Tuesday afternoon in the 1200 block of 9th Avenue. That fire started at a vacant property.

Prior to that, two vacant houses that caught fire along 28th Street in Huntington were immediately torn down by the city after the fire was extinguished, as they were already on the city’s radar for demolition.

Huntington’s fire marshal and Huntington Police are investigation the fires.

Only one arson arrest has been made in the city this year. Joshua Scott Griffith Francis, 26, was charged with arson in January after allegedly setting fire to an outbuilding at the YWCA in the 600 block of 5th Avenue in Huntington.

In 2018 and 2017, 18 arsons were reported in Huntington, according to Huntington Police Chief Hank Dial.

Follow reporter Courtney Hessler at Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter @HesslerHD.

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