|State fire marshal releases description of person leaving fire scene|
|Tuesday, January 17, 2012 10:34 PM|
The Division of State Fire Marshal in Columbus issued the following press release on Tuesday:
Date of incident: January 15, 2012 at 1:45 p.m.
Structure: Former Barnes Hotel
The Division of State Fire Marshal has ruled Sunday’s fire at the former Barnes Hotel in Paulding as ARSON.
Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, some specific details will not be released at this time.
A Blue Ribbon Arson Reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to the identification of the person or persons responsible for the fire. Anyone with information is asked to the call the Division of State Fire Marshal at 1-800-589-2728 or the Paulding Police or Fire Departments.
Investigators are asking for information about man who was witnessed running from the rear of the building at the time of the fire. He is described as a white male in his late 20s or early 30s, between 5’8” and 5’10” tall, weights approximately 200 pounds and was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.
Investigators will continue their investigation of the fire scene today. Additional interviews also are planned with witnesses and first responders.
The hotel is a complete loss. The fire caused moderate damage to the adjoining buildings.
The Division of State Fire Marshal’s Code Enforcement Bureau already had a fire marshal’s citation pending before the state’s Board of Building Appeals. The citation addressed fire and life safety issues in the building that existed prior to the fire. A hearing before the board was set for January 19th, 2012. The hearing will be rescheduled for a later date at the request of one of the two responsible parties (i.e. owners) because of legal counsel issues.
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