By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
Felony charges are being filed against at least seven juveniles for a string of arsons earlier this year in Portsmouth.
Assistant Scioto County Prosecutor Scott Smith said he filed the charges late last week, and the defendants will be served with felony charges of aggravated arson, arson, and misdemeanor arson.
Smith said the State Fire Marshal’s Office and Portsmouth Fire Chief Bill Raison have already filed charges on the structures in which the fire department had to fight the fires. Some of the fires did not have reports since the fires were out when firefighters arrived. Misdemeanor charges will be filed in those cases.
Aggravated arson charges stem from those fires that endangered other dwellings in which people resided at the time the fire broke out. In one case, the fire at 118 Glover St. caused heavy damage to the house next door at 120 Glover St., where two people fled the home as the fire spread.
Raison said the arrests might have solved about 15 arson fires in all. Arson charges are filed in which unoccupied dwellings were burned, but they were not believed to pose immediate danger to occupied dwellings.
Some of the boys and girls involved are suspected of breaking into the houses, while others are suspected of setting the fires. The juveniles, 15 years of age and under, are expected to be arraigned by next week.
The Division of State Fire Marshal and Portsmouth Fire Department posted Blue Ribbon Arson Reward signs in March at 18 fire scenes in Portsmouth. A reward of up to $5,000 was offered by the Blue Ribbon Arson Committee for information leading to the identification of the person or people responsible for any of the fires.
Addresses of structures involved in the arson charges.
• 2224 Seventh St.
• 1315 Third St.
• 817 Spring Ln.
• 1229 St. Patrick Ct.
• 519 Boundary St.
• 1509 Sixth St.
• 2111 Seventh St.
• 1643 Sixth St.
• 2119 Seventh St.
• 1629 Seventh St.
• 118 Glover St.
• 120 Glover St.
• 1633 Seventh St.
• 1120 16th St.
• 2216 Sixth St. - breaking and entering only
• 1519 Sixth St. - breaking and entering only
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com.