In the early morning hours of Thursday, April 5th 2012, Harlem Township experienced three fire incidents within approximately forty minutes. All three were barn fires in different areas of the township. Below is information regarding the response to the incidents and the ongoing investigations.
The first fire at 15253 Woodtown Road was dispatched at 06:08 with first arriving units on the scene at 06:15, for a seven minute response time. The second fire at 1915 S. St. Rt. 605 was dispatched at 06:29 with first arriving units at 06:32, for a three minute response time. The third fire was dispatched at 06:54 with first units on the scene at 06:59, for a five minute response time. All three buildings were very well involved upon arrival and were considered "defensive" fires; whereas, we do not attempt interior fire operations and attempt to manage the progress of the fire on the building and protect structures nearby. Fire hydrants located near all three sites were utilized for fire suppression efforts. All three hydrant locations were installed by the township FD through our hydrant installation program that was implemented in 2006.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the officers and firefighters of this department, and equally to our neighboring, mutual aid departments. The overall response to the three incidents included in excess of 30 emergency vehicles and nearly 100 emergency personnel. The entities/departments that came to our assistance that morning include: B.S.T. & G. Fire District, Genoa Township Fire Department, Porter-Kingston Fire District, Orange Township Fire Department, Delaware County EMS (Delaware County), Monroe Township Fire Department (Licking County), Plain Township Fire Department and Westerville Division of Fire (Franklin County), all providing multiple apparatus and crews. The Delaware County 911 Center also did an outstanding job of dispatching and keeping track of the three incidents. Having that much equipment and that many crews from many different entities and three different counties and to have the degree of cooperation and teamwork exhibited was truly fantastic. We needed a big TEAM EFFORT and that is exactly what was accomplished! A great job done by ALL!
SAFETY & PREVENTION
Harlem Township Fire Chief Dale Fling and State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers encourage concerned citizens to take some simple steps toward prevention of arson fires. Turn on or add exterior lighting to barns, sheds and detached buildings. Remove debris and any materials from vacant or abandoned properties. Secure ladders, fuel and other tools so they do not become tools of a potential arsonist. Finally, immediately report any suspicious activity to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.
REWARD OFFERED FOR APRIL 5, 2012 ARSON
A Blue Ribbon Arson Reward of up to $5,000 has been posted for information leading to the identification of the person or persons responsible for Thursday, April 5, 2012 barn fire at 15253 Woodtown Road in Sunbury. Investigators are asking anyone with information to call the call the Division of State Fire Marshal at 1-800- 589-2728 or the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office at 740-833-2800. Investigators want to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard something out of the ordinary at or around the time of the fire which was reported at 6:08 a.m. Also, investigators want to hear from you if you have heard someone talking about the fire with an unusual level of interest or knowledge. No tip should be considered insignificant.
The cause of the other two barn fires on State Route 605 South and Miller-Paul Road remains undetermined. However, investigators believe those fires are probably also arson given their close proximity in time and location. Investigators also would like to hear from anyone who may have information about those fires.
ADDITONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE BLUE RIBBON ARSON COMMITTEE
In 1973, the Ohio FAIR Plan Underwriting Association founded the Blue Ribbon Arson Committee (BRAC) for the purpose of bringing together in a working liaison Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, and Insurance Industry Personnel to combat the crime of arson. Since its inception, the chairman of BRAC has been the chief of the State Arson Bureau of Ohio.
Since 1978, BRAC has sponsored a reward fund for information leading to the identification of person(s) responsible for arson fires in Ohio. Nominations for rewards are accepted from any Law Enforcement Officer charged with the responsibility of investigating incendiary fires, or any prosecutor, or any officer of an insurance company licensed to write insurance in Ohio. The program incorporates the use of a large dramatic sign that is posted on property damaged by arson. Signs are posted by Fire Service and/or Law Enforcement Personnel.
Since 1978, BRAC has issued 459 awards in the total amount of $500,600. This has assisted in solving at least 542 fires. 128 of the cases were attempts to defraud the insurance industry, and savings are in excess of $6,500,000.
Chief Dale R. Fling
Harlem Township Division of Fire
3883 S. State Route 605
Galena, Ohio, 43021
State Fire Marshall
Ohio Department of Commerce
Division of State Fire Marshall
8895 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068-9009
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