SALEM - The State Fire Marshal's Office and Salem Police are helping investigate what city firefighters are calling an intentionally-set fire at a Fourth Street residence, with one woman sent to the hospital Friday.
The condition of the 58-year-old woman was undetermined, a spokesman for Salem Community Hospital said late Friday afternoon. According to police Lt. Don Beeson, she was admitted to the hospital.
Capt. Scott Mason of the Salem City Fire Department said the woman, identified as the homeowner, was being treated at the scene by KLG Ambulance for suspected smoke inhalation when firefighters arrived at 11:57 a.m. after responding from another call.
Capt. Scott Mason of the Salem City Fire Department comes out of a home on East Fourth Street where a rug and chair were burned in a fire deemed intentional and still under investigation. Part of the fire department responded at 11:57 a.m. Friday from the scene of another call, splitting the department. A woman who had been inside the residence was taken to Salem Community Hospital for treatment. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)
Only part of the department responded, with the rest of the department remaining at the scene of the East State Street sewage lift station located off of Pershing Street Extension.
The police department received the initial call when the woman's adult son came home from work, opened the door and smoke came rolling out, Patrolman Brad Davis said.
According to Mason, the woman was found by her son in the living room, which is where an area rug and chair were allegedly set on fire. The son poured his beverage on the fire,
followed by a pot of water, to put it out. Firefighters arrived to light smoke showing and finished extinguishing the fire, ventilating the house to remove the smoke by opening second floor windows and using fans.
A representative of the State Fire Marshal's Office and Det. Dave Talbert of the Salem Police Department were called to assist in the investigation by the fire department, with samples from the living room taken to the state lab for testing. Firefighters cleared the scene at 2:37 p.m. Friday.
The fire remains under investigation.
Mary Ann Greier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org