Is Arsonist Torching Township Buildings?

PERRY TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Police believe it's likely that an arsonist or a team of arsonists are torching buildings in Perry Township, Action News' Denise Strzelczyk reported.

As of Tuesday evening, piles of crumpled up rubber on the campus of Canton Central Catholic School were still smoldering as a result of a fire that investigators suspect was started by an arsonist.

"It was upsetting," CCC teacher Jean Leach said. "I didn't really know about it until I pulled into work and saw the smoke."

The crushed-up rubber was put on the school's campus to help rebuild the Astroturf at the school's stadium. The fire started on top of the pile.

"I just don't see how it would be an accidental fire," Perry Township Fire Department Chief Gary Justice said. "There was nothing there to get it going. It had to have some help."

Two young people were reportedly seen running from the scene, but what's even more troubling is the fact that the Perry Heights Library burnt to the ground just a little over a week ago down the same road. That fire was ruled an arson and police are looking into a connection.

People in the area just want to see an arrest.

"We want whoever is doing this caught or just to take responsibility," township resident Sherrie Barth said. "For what they've done, if it's a simple accident, than just be honest about it. But we just want this behind us as soon as possible."

That might not happen right away. Fire officials said that they have no suspects.

Another problem is that investigating the fire won't be easy because the rubber material was made of the same substance as an accelerant, so police are going to have to rely on tips to lead them to an arsonist.

If you have any information that could help investigators, you are encouraged to call the Perry Township Fire Department.