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UPDATE: Vacant House Fire Deemed Arson
HARRISON TOWNSHIP -- A house fire on Berwyck Avenue has been ruled arson after investigation by the Ohio State Fire Marshal, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and Harrison Township Fire.
The house was owned by 3rd Chance Ministries. Dirk Oglesby, who founded the group, said he thought he was dreaming when he got the call that the house had caught fire at 3 a.m. Wednesday.
"We had all-new plumbing and all-new gas pipes," he said. "Everything we do we put our heart and soul into it."
Oglesby bought the house for $9,300 and remodeled it with his own money. It was going to help people recovering from addiction, chronic homelessness and mental illness. The tenants had planned to move in Wednesday, but the fire changed those plans.
Some residents in the neighborhood had recently voiced their opposition to the tenants that would be living in the house.
"That whole community over there, it wasn't just one person," Oglesby said. "It was a collective effort to destroy what we have started."
"Some people get scared and don't want that stuff around," said Michael Gore, who lives near the scene. He said he had heard the neighbors talk about the issue, and that some had even passed out fliers against the ministry's plan.
"I would hope no one would do something like that because it's just people that need a second chance," Gore said.
The ministry was working on the home's insurance but it was not finalized.
"We are not going to give up, we're not going to stop," Oglesby said. "We may have obstacles come in our life but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
There is a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. People with information should call the Ohio fire marshal or Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. Tips can remain anonymous.
HARRISON TOWNSHIP -- An early morning fire in Harrison Township has been ruled arson.
Crews battles the blaze at a vacant home on Berwyck Avenue, which started around 2 a.m.
Extra firefighters were called in to help.
3rd Chance Ministries had purchased the property to be a halfway house for the homeless, which neighbors weren't too happy about.
"I think somebody set it off. This is called little Kentucky, and they aren't going to have stuff like that in the neighborhood," says neighbor Pauline Adkinson.
The state fire marshal's office found evidence of arson at the scene, and is now offering a $5,000 reward for information on who started it.
HARRISON TOWNSHIP -- Fire crews battle a huge house fire in Harrison Township. Heavy smoke filled the entire neighborhood after the flames broke out.
It happened about 2:00 Wednesday morning on Berwyck Avenue. The fire chief tells us the home is vacant. Firefighters say it is under investigation.
When firefighters arrived large flames were shooting from the house, causing heavy smoke. The fire was so intense extra fire departments, including Huber Heights and Butler Township, were called in to help.
WATCH: Raw video of the house fire
To keep crews safe they had to fight the fire from the exterior of the house. It took a while for firefighters to contain the flames. One concern was to make sure it did not spread to any other houses.
While crews were battling the blaze, they also had to supply the fire hydrant with water because the pressure was low.
Investigators are still not sure what caused this fire, they will be looking into that later this morning.
HARRISON TOWNSHIP -- A massive fire at a vacant home in Harrison Township is now under investigation. Crews were called to the home at 2405 Berwyck Avenue just before 2:00 a.m. Wednesday.
Firefighters tell us when they got on the scene, 90 percent of the home was already engulfed in flames. Since the home is vacant, crews did not go inside to search for any potential victims.
Crews from Vandalia and Huber Heights assisted in knocking down the flames.
Firefighters tell us right now, it's not clear what started the fire and are just saying it's under investigation. Crews are now checking to see if the utilities were running at the home.
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