Posted by Dave Dykema - email
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A huge south Toledo fire at the Tate Funeral Home, in the 1300 block of East Broadway, shut down that street for hours Sunday afternoon.
Over 50 firefighters responded to the fire that broke out just before 1:00 p.m. Sunday. They do believe that it was arson.
"When our crews arrived we entered the structure and found multiple fires, which indicates to us it's a pretty good possibility this was intentionally set," Asst. Chief Luis Santiago of the Toledo Fire Department said.
Ron Fry made the 911 call. He too believes an arsonist set the fire but didn't see anyone running from the building as he made the call.
Fry said this fire hit too close to home for him and that, "They need to find out who is doing this and put a stop to it."
It took firefighters more than two hours to put out the fire. At one point it became too dangerous to fight the fire from the inside.
"Fire conditions and smoke conditions changed quickly, so we withdrew our crews because there was structural compromise we were seeing," Santiago said.
Part of the roof collapsed not long after, shooting flames into the sky.
Crews tore down the parts of the building that didn't collapse.
Firefighters say the building is a total loss. However, they were able to save the structures around it.
Although the funeral home is vacant now, neighbors say it was emotional because for so many it was the last place they saw a loved one.
If you have any information about how the fire started, please call CrimeStopper at 419-255-1111.
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