Ohio State Fire Marshal’s office investigates Akron fire that killed 5

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:50 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating after five people were killed and four others were burned in a Monday morning house fire on Linden Road in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood.

The fire stunned this multinational and multi-cultural tight knight neighborhood, and those who live here are a bit frightened and looking for some answers from investigators.

Josh Hobbs, the chief of the state’s Fire and Explosion Investigation Bureau and his team were at the scene of the fire early Monday morning, trying to piece together what happened.

Hobbs cautioned that there is nothing easy or quick about these investigations especially when there is so much at stake.

Was this an accident or arson?

It’s a question that’s top of mind especially in Akron where across town Stanley Ford is currently on trial, accused of setting fire to three homes and killing nine people.

Hobbs said he does understand the concern.

“Right now if given a few more days we’ll be able to come up with a little bit more information, whether it is incendiary or not, I don’t know, but it gives us a little bit more time to paint a picture,” Hobbs said.

He also cautioned it is early in the investigation.

State investigators brought in an accelerant-detecting canine.

“That is something you will see utilized a lot on major fatality, multiple fatality fires especially one with a lot of fire damage,” the chief said.”

Investigators used drills to free evidence.

Forensic evidence investigators will need time to process at state labs.

“That’s going to get to our forensics lab and be analyzed, said Hobbs. “There will have to be a determination if there was any ignitable liquids involved in whatever evidence you collected in the sample.”

Akron fire and Akron police will assist in the investigation.

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