Fire Department: Burning Leaves Ignited Blaze

BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (AP) - A fire that destroyed the home of a dentist on Nov. 9 has been ruled accidental, according to the Bay Village Fire Department.

Some leaves that Dr. Mouawia Ghiba had burned hours before ignited a fire in the garage and then spread to the home, according to Lt. Tom Boatwright of the fire prevention unit of Bay Village, a suburban community west of Cleveland.

The investigation included whether the fire may have been the result of a hate crime, because Ghiba is of Middle Eastern descent.

Ghiba's home, garage and a car were destroyed in the fire, which also caused damage to two neighboring homes. The fire caused $310,000 in damages.

Boatwright said burning leaves in Bay Village is against the law, but Ghiba will not be charged.

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