MOUNT VERNON — The State Fire Marshal is offering a reward for information that helps to identify those responsible for an arson fire at 301 N. Norton Street, according to Mount Vernon Fire Chief Chris Menapace.
The Mount Vernon Fire Department responded to a report of fire at the vacant building early Saturday morning. Local and state investigators were called in to investigate the cause.
The fire occurred at 4:28 Saturday morning, Menapace told the News. The persons of interest are two white males, approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall to 6 feet tall. One male was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and a white hat. The second male was wearing khaki pants and a black hooded jacket or coat.
“They were believed to have been walking downtown and in the north end of Mount Vernon, near Sandusky Street, around the time of the fire,” Menapace said.
The vacant building, which sits at the corner of North Norton and North West streets, is scheduled to be demolished as part of the Moving Ohio Forward grant after owner Michael Grubaugh signed a voluntary demolition form.
Grubaugh told the News earlier this month the structure has been vacant for 10 years. It was also the scene of a suspicious fire in April, which is still under investigation.
Menapace said it is too early to determine if the April fire is connected to Saturday’s fire, but he is not ruling it out.
Anyone with information regarding person(s) of interest, or have knowledge regarding who was involved, should call the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 1-800-589-2728 or the MVFD at 740-393-9515.
The reward could be as high as $5,000, based on the discretion of the Ohio Blue Ribbon Arson Committee from its Reward Fund.
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