EAST LIVERPOOL - Two houses in the Vine Street area of East Liverpool are a total loss after burning within several minutes of each other Sunday.
East Liverpool fire Chief Bill Jones said his department received a call early Sunday afternoon from the police department reporting a structure fire at 901 Watson St. to the northeast of Vine Street. A third alarm crew of 10 firefighters arrived on the scene at around 1:13 p.m. to find the one-story structure fully engulfed in flame.
Firefighters fought the blaze with two teams spraying hoses from the front and rear of the structure but were unable to save it. The house was vacant and no injuries were reported.
Kara Lockhart-Virden provided this photo of a fire on Vine Street in East Liverpool Sunday.
About 30 minutes after arriving on Watson Street, firefighters were informed of another fire at 907 Vine St.
"The vacant home (at 901 Watson St.) was taken care of and we had a lot of the fire knocked down when a bystander came up to us and reported this other house fire," Jones said.
The house is a three-unit apartment owned by Jay Maple. Only one unit in the house is occupied. The residents were not home at the time.
Two firefighters responded to the house and knocked in the back door to gain access to the upstairs. They found heavy smoke and fire throughout the structure and had to use air packs while fighting the fire.
Firefighters periodically checked back at the Watson Street fire to make sure it had not rekindled while they were battling the blaze on Vine Street. Firefighters fought the fire for about three hours, finally bringing it under control at about 5 p.m.
No injuries were reported. The house is insured, according to Jones.
The causes of both fires are still under investigation. Jones indicated the first fire at the vacant home appears suspicious.