SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, OH (WTOL) – The Ohio Fire Marshal's Office, along with the Lucas County Sheriff's Office and the Springfield Township Fire Department, have ruled the cause of the March 25 fire at the Hidden Cedars apartment complex in Springfield Township to be arson.
"We have eliminated any accidental causes," said Chief Barry Cousino of the Springfield Township Fire Department.
Investigators have specific evidence the fire was set intentionally. However, investigators cannot release specific details about the evidence because it is still an ongoing criminal investigation.
The fire killed two people and destroyed building G of the complex located on Garden Road, leaving more than 70 residents without a home. There were also reports of injuries after several residents had to jump from the third floor to avoid the fire.
Residents said the blaze was terrible enough as is, but to think someone purposely caused the fire has made matters much worse. The horrifying night keeps replaying in Tiffiny Morgan's head.
"Kids were pulling on me, asking me where their parents were. We saw people jumping from balconies, windows, and it just got out of control very fast," recalled Morgan.
When Morgan saw the blaze she feared the worst.
"I'm hoping everybody got out," said Morgan.
Two residents did not and were killed in the fire. Robert McGhee, 61, was one of Morgan's friends.
"A really decent guy passed away, and his family will never be the same, you know, over someone doing something so horrific," said Morgan. "To know that he's no longer here by someone's actions. I mean, I don't understand how they can even sleep at night."
Morgan hopes someone comes forward so she and friends can begin to heal.
"Whoever did it, they're going to pay because people have been murdered," said Morgan.
Officials want answers now that the state fire marshal has ruled the fire to be arson.
"If anybody has heard or seen anything or anybody talking about the incident, or anybody speaking about the incident with extreme amount of interest, they're certainly encouraged to call the State Fire Marshal's Office," said Cousino. "If anyone has any information, any discussion, any pictures, anything really."
Cousino did not say if they have received any tips yet. There is a reward for up to $5,000 for anyone who gives information that leads to the identification of a suspect.
If you have any information on the fire, contact the state fire marshal at 1-800-589-2728 or CrimeStopper at 419-255-1111.
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