EAST LIVERPOOL - Two fires in just over five hours kept city firefighters busy Monday and Tuesday, with both still under investigation.
The department was called at 5:05 p.m. Monday to 507 Sugar St., where the four men on duty arrived to find the structure fully involved and sounded a third alarm, bringing out another engine and two additional firefighters.
They remained on the scene until 11:30 p.m., battling the blaze, which was the fourth fire they have seen in the vacant structure owned by Frances Burkhart, Benton Road, Salem.
Assistant Chief Eric Croxall said the fire was intentionally set.
Just as they cleared from the Sugar Street blaze, the three firefighters on duty were called at 12:19 a.m. to 805 Cadmus St., where they found heavy smoke and fire in the middle of the basement, first and second floors.
A third alarm brought another seven firemen to the scene who donned air packs and entered the structure to fight the fire.
According to reports, it appeared the fire began on the first floor, dropped down to the basement, then extended to the second floor.
Firefighters remained on the scene of this blaze until 2:14 a.m., and then at 5:40 a.m. were called back to the Cadmus Street home to find it fully involved.
The three men on duty called a third alarm, bringing back six additional firefighters.
After the second fire, the home was deemed a total loss and is under investigation.
The owner is Ray Diddle, Purinton Avenue, and the house is insured, according to reports.
Croxall reported someone had recently moved out of the home.
On Saturday, the department responded to a walk-in complaint by three people who had come from the Jaycees Haunted House, saying it failed to have proper ventilation for the chainless chainsaws being used.
Firefighters investigated and found adequate ventilation.
One of the complainants, Crystal Brazee, whose age and address were not reported, complained of having carbon monoxide symptoms, but Lifeteam ambulance crews found her levels normal, although reporting she has had a history of asthma.
Brazee declined transport to the hospital and wanted to continue with the haunted house, according to reports.