Bellefontaine Examiner

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Foos mansion fire ruled arson

State Fire Marshal’s Office investigators are testing evidence samples from Wednesday’s arson fire to the former Foos family mansion to better understand what caused the inferno.

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State fire officials have ruled Wednesday's fire at 208 W. Chillicothe Ave. an arson. (PHOTO SUBMITTED | MARK WILLIAMS)

Bellefontaine Fire Chief Andy Fissel said investigators are confident the fire is an act of arson.

Under the law, arson can be an intentional act or an accidental event that resulted from another criminal act.

Wednesday’s fire was noticed around 6:05 p.m. at the rear or northside of the 208 W. Chillicothe Ave. property. The blaze spread quickly through the vacant structure, leaving behind a weakened shell that could fall on neighboring structures.

Chief Fissel said he plans to talk soon with owner Jennifer A. Van Horn of West Liberty about the building’s future.

It was constructed in the 1800s for the Foos family which made its fortune in cattle.

Since the 1950s, it has housed apartments but it has not been occupied in recent years.

Anyone with information can call the fire department at 599-6168 or the Bellefontaine Police Department at 599-1010.

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Investigators have declared Wednesday’s fire at 208 W. Chillicothe Ave. is an act of arson. Anyone with information can call the Bellefontaine Fire Department at 599-6168 or the Bellefontaine Police Department at 599-1010. (EXAMINER PHOTO | JOEL E. MAST)

 

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