Springfield firefighters battle 4 fires in 5 hours

Sheds, car and houses part of blazes in southeast part of the city.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Springfield firefighters battled four fires in about a five-hour span on Monday morning, all within a short distance of each other.

The fires happened between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. and included three sheds, a car and two houses, the Springfield Fire Rescue Division reported. Some crews rushed from the scene of one house fire to the other a short distance away.

The number of fires and the timing of fires were unusual, but firefighters said they did not know if the fires were connected, and they would not speculate on a cause.

Assistant Chief Matt Smith said part of the investigation will be to find out if the fires are related.

“It is unusual to have that many fires that close together in time and distance, and that does mean another view to take on these incidents (while investigating),” he said.

Investigators did ask for the public’s help. If members of the public saw anything or have security camera footage related to any of the fires, they should call the Fire Division’s Marshal Bureau at 937-324-7610.

Crews were called to sheds on fire around 4 a.m. at 621 Linden Ave., said Assistant Fire Chief Brian Leciejewski.

Three sheds on the same property were on fire.

Crews later were called to a car fire in the first block of Selma Road about 6:30 a.m.

At around 7:15 a.m., a fully involved structure fire was reported at 156 E. Grand Ave. The blaze shut down the streets around the intersection of Grand and Clifton avenues, just a block east of South Limestone Street.

Firefighters arrived to find the Grand Avenue house, which was a vacant structure, engulfed in flames.

“While on that fire, getting wrapped up, another structure fire was reported at 8:50 a.m. at 701 Tibbetts Ave.,” Leciejewski said.

Fire Capt. Matthew Porteus, who was acting battalion chief Monday, said three of the units were just leaving the scene of the house fire on Grand Avenue when they were called to respond to the one on Tibbetts.

The 1.5-story, Cape Cod-style house was fully involved when crews arrived, and they had went into defensive mode as soon as they arrived on scene.

“Crews were able to put a couple handlines and service (the fire) pretty quick... We were able to get everything knocked down,” Porteus said.

The fire was under control about 9:30 a.m.

Crews also called for mutual aid from Springfield Twp., which provided on-scene EMS for the firefighters and another fire engine on standby in case another call came in, Porteus said.

This house was reportedly also vacant, and a neighbor said the resident had died late last year.

Smith said they requested an emergency demolition on the two houses damaged by fire, and they have been demolished.

No injuries were reported in any of the fires.

“All of the fires are under investigation and part of that is to determine if they are in fact related,” Smith said. “This still all could be a coincidence, and these fires could all be unrelated, so the link has to be found.”

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