Sandy Creek chief says blazes were no accident

MINERVA – Two structure fires fought in the Minerva area 40 minutes apart have been ruled as arsons.

The Sandy Creek Joint Fire District was called first to a trailer fire in the 2200 block of Haines Road in West Township at 11:28 p.m. Wednesday. Fire Chief Aaron Stoller said the trailer had no electricity or services hooked up which could cause a fire.

At 12:08 a.m. Thursday, firefighters were called to the second fire, located in the 9600 block of Stump Road in West Township.

Stoller said the Haines Road fire was located about a quarter mile back from the road, and the Stump Road fire was about a mile to a mile and a half from there. The second home sits about 50 feet from the road, but Stoller said both roads have little traffic at that time of night.

At 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, suspecting the fire at the first abandoned home could be arson, firefighters contacted the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Department. The Fire Marshal was en route to investigate. Deputies checked the area for suspicious people or vehicles, but did not find anyone.

Stoller said his department was assisted by both the Homeworth Volunteer Fire Department and the Great Trail Fire District.

Anyone with information should call the Fire Marshal’s office, 800-589-2728. Stoller said the person with information could be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.