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Suspect Arrested In Kenton Arson Fires

Kenton Fire Department

Update 4-26 at 6 a.m.: Kenton Police Chief Dennis Musser tells local media outlets that they've arrested a suspect on a probation violation and arson charges are pending.
Original story:

In a three-hour time span in the wee hours of Sunday morning, four homes in Kenton, Ohio, were set ablaze. Authorities are seeking answers about the suspected arsons, and offering a reward to anyone who may have any information on the fires.

“Officers responded to a 911 call for a structure fire on the southwest side of Kenton,” says Musser. “Shortly after responding, three other structure fires came in, and were observed by officers on the scene of the first fire.”

Two of the residences were vacant, two were occupied, and no one was hurt. But Musser says that the arsons have created a sense of anxiety in the community, a city of about 8,000 northwest of Columbus in Hardin County.

“We’ve asked them to remain calm, you know, look out for each other, look out for your neighbor, be vigilant, and to be proactive in their vigilance, report anything they see out of place and, you know, and just basically telling them not to panic,” Musser says.

Musser's 16-person police department has doubled up patrols while a multi-agent arson unit investigates with the help of some state labs. Musser says that the fires are random, which differentiates them from most of the ones his department has dealt with.

“Usually we can tie these things together through narcotics, or some sort of a beef between parties, but this is not the case here," Musser says. "This is completely random."

The city is offering a reward of up to $5,000 dollars for information on the fires.

This story will be updated as more information arrives.

Clare Roth was former All Things Considered Host for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU in February of 2017. After attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she returned to her native Iowa as a producer for Iowa Public Radio.