EAST LIVERPOOL - A fire that destroyed a vacant home on McKee Street early Tuesday morning was deemed suspicious by fire officials, who said it appeared to have been intentionally started.
The city police department alerted the fire department at 12:07 a.m. of the fire at 1338 McKee St., a one-and-one-half story home owned by Robert Blystone of East Liverpool.
The four firefighters on duty responded, and a third alarm was sounded within one minute, bringing out an additional seven firemen, according to assistant Chief Tim Walker.
Sherry Williamson looks on as East Liverpool firefighter Craig Connor and assistant Chief Tim Walker extinguish a fire in the engine of her Buick Regal. The vehicle fire was the second blaze firefighters battled on Tuesday, having responded to a structure fire just after midnight. (Photo by Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert)
Firefighters found the vacant structure about three-quarters involved upon arrival and focused their initial attention on knocking down fire that was extending toward another nearby house.
Walker said, "The fire seems to have been deliberately set since there was no electric service and no one living there." The house was already in poor shape before the fire, officials said.
The last known resident of the home was Katie Bailey, who still had belongings in the residence, according to reports.
Firefighter Jason Glista suffered a groin injury while battling the blaze but did not seek medical treatment.
Firefighters cleared the scene at 3:35 a.m.
At 12:24 p.m. Tuesday, firefighters were again called out, this time to a car fire on East Fifth Street, where they found the engine compartment of a 2001 Buick Regal ablaze.
According to officials, owner Sherry Williamson had just parked the vehicle and entered a nearby store when she looked out a window and saw it was on fire.
A passerby told firefighters he thought the vehicle had just overheated when he saw what appeared to be steam coming from underneath the hood.
Two firefighters responded with an engine and opened the hood, extinguishing the blaze.
Walker said the fire was caused by wiring along the top of the engine shorting out, igniting oil that had leaked out near a gasket.
He said it appeared the vehicle was a total loss. It was insured.
The firefighters cleared the scene at 12:41 p.m.