OFD investigates 3rd fire at vacant house since April
OTTUMWA, Iowa —
Ottumwa firefighters are now investigating a third suspicious fire at a vacant house.
Just before 10 p.m. Wednesday, crews responded to the 300 block of North Washington Street, where they found flames coming out of the basement.
The fire was controlled within 15 minutes, but investigators didn't clear the scene until almost midnight.
Deputy Fire Chief Cory Benge told KTVO at the scene that this is the third fire he's responded to at this house since April.
Benge said he's pretty positive these fires were intentionally set, and that those responsible are up against a First-Degree Arson charge.
He added that the house was in bad shape, even before Wednesday night's fire. Neighbors told him the property has a reputation of housing squatters.