Windham – Early August 30th many Windham village residents were roused out of their sleep by fire sirens as the W.V.F.D. Joint Fire Department responded to two calls within a mile of each other in the village at approximately an hour apart. The first call was received at 2:28 am for a house fire at 9930 Blanton Drive and an hour later they received a second call for a fire in a multi-housing unit at 9590 Green Meadow Drive.
The W.V.F.D. Fire Department had two trucks and eight men on the scene within eight minutes of receiving the call. They also responded to the second call and were assisted by Garrettsville, Hiram, Mantua, Streetsboro, Newton Falls, and Braceville Departments as they battled both the blazes. The fires were put out by 6:30 am, however Windham Fire Department remained on the scene until 11 am to watch for and put out hot spots. Both dwellings were a totally destroyed.
The house on Blanton Drive was unoccupied and no one was injured in the blaze. The multi-housing unit was partially occupied causing the residents to scramble to safety in the early hours of the morning. All the occupants were able to escape the blaze. The fire department treated one resident for smoke inhalation at the scene.
The two fires were suspicious from the beginning and were investigated by the Windham Police Department, with assistance from the Portage County Fire Investigation Unit and the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Following the investigation, the fires were ruled arson.
The police department promptly began an investigation by responding to tips they had received from the community, resulting in an arrest. On Thursday Mayor Rob Donham II and Windham Police Chief Gene H. Fixler announced that an arrest had been made and they are confident that they have the right person. Police have declined to give the name of the suspect as it is a minor. The seventeen year old is currently being held on aggravated arson charges at the Portage County Juvenile Detention Center.