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Source: Kokomo Tribune

House destroyed by fire was subject of previous KFD investigation

By Cody Neuenschwander
KOKOMO – A vacant house destroyed by fire last week on East Walnut Street had been involved in an investigation by the Kokomo Fire Department.

The fire, on April 26, 2017, at 935 E. Walnut St. was listed as “intentional” on a Kokomo Fire Department fire report. According to Fire Chief Nick Glover, that was because the house didn’t have any utility hook-ups that could have served as a source of the ignition.

“It’s a vacant property, there’s no ignition sources in there. There’s no gas, no electric, no way for it to start burning unless someone intentionally set it,” Glover said.

That same property was one of four sites investigated by KFD after a string of vacant house fires in February. Glover noted that while those fires were also ruled intentional, there’s no evidence linking last week’s incident to the initial investigation.

“I’m not ruling it out,” he said. “But we don’t have anything to tell us that specifically. There’s no evidence that says so.”

The other fires were located at 727 E. Walnut St., 1300 S. Locke St. and 1819 S. LaFountain St., and, along with 935 E. Walnut St., had all burned within a week.

Glover told the Tribune in February the fire department had persons of interest in February’s string of house fires based on eyewitness reports. Glover noted Monday the department had spoken with people about the fires, but unfortunately it “didn’t lead them anywhere.”

The Tribune also reported in February that KFD believed not all of the fires were connected, with Glover saying he doubted the two fires on East Walnut Street were connected to other fires. He said those beliefs were “geography-based.”

“Of course, we haven’t had any incidents in several weeks, and I was hoping we were past that, and then we had the one the other night,” said Glover.

Cody Neuenschwander can be reached at 765-454-8570 or by email at cody@kokomotribune.com

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