Crews battle string of fires in Youngstown
Youngstown firefighters battled three vacant house fires within about seven hours beginning Thursday night into early Friday morning.
The latest fire broke out about 4:30 a.m. Friday at a house at Oakland and Superior avenues on the city's North Side. Crews are letting the structure burn to the ground.
At about the same time Friday morning, a fire broke out at a house at 79 E. Glenhaven Avenue.
Thursday night, another fire broke out about 10 p.m. at 65 E. Glenhaven Avenue. The house was fully engulfed when crews arrived. The flames were so intense that the siding on a neighboring house melted.
The string of fires has put neighbors on edge and they are worried that more fires will be started.
"As neighbors, we need to band together. Somebody has to be watching out at all times. If they see something they don't know in the neighborhood or if they see anything suspicious, just call into the police and report it," said Michael Peterson. "Things like this are going to keep happening day in and day out."
A cause has not been determined in any of the fires. All are considered suspicious.
Youngstown scrap fire sends up tower of smoke
Although smoke could still be seen over an industrial area west of downtown Youngstown, city fire officials declared a smoky blaze at a scrap metal facility to be under control by 4:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
People for miles around reported seeing the smoke coming from Midwest Steel property on Division Street.
Fire officials on the scene told 21 News that piles of scrap metal and fiberglass were burning.
In addition to high winds, firefighters faced the challenge of not having any fire hydrants in the area.
There are no reports of injuries, or information on what sparked the fire.
Fire destroys vacant house in Youngstown
Fire crews were on the scene of a house fire late Thursday on the South Side.
Firefighters were called to 65 E. Glenaven Ave. off Market Street just before 10 p.m.
The vacant house was fully engulfed when crews arrived. The flames were so intense that it melted the siding of a neighboring house.
Firefighters were dousing another neighboring house to keep it from burning. The blaze is under investigation.
Cause of Youngstown scrapyard fire determined
Youngstown fire crews were on the scene of an industrial fire at a scrap yard on the North Side of the city for nearly five hours on Thursday.
Flames broke out around 2:15 p.m. at Midwest Steel & Alloy, 200 Division St., near Vallourec Star Steel.
Firefighters were forced to fight the fire with strong winds and a lack of water at the location of the fire, which forced fire engines to truck water in to the fire from nearby locations.
Battalion Chief Terrence Jordon said there are more than 5,000 fire hydrants across the city and if there is an area without access to a hydrant, they will set up the shuttles like they did for Thursday afternoon's fire.
He said other times they will use water tankers if they don't have access to a hydrant at the scene of a fire.
But as firefighters brought water to the fire, they still faced issues trying to get the water on the fire because of the strong winds.
"The problem we had with the wind, the fire burns a little more intensely than it may normally burn," Jordon said.
The battalion chief said the fire started from sparks that ignited fiberglass near a worker.
"An employee was doing some welding or cutting in the area of the fire and sparks just got the fiberglass on fire," Jordon said.
Most of the damage was contained to the fiberglass material.
Heavy black smoke could be seen for miles from the facility, but it started to dissipate around 3:45 p.m.
Firefighters wrapped up around 7 p.m.after being on the scene for nearly five hours. But, with the windy conditions, crews were dispatched to the scene again around 8:30 p.m. for a possible rekindling.
Fire at Alameda Avenue intentional
Fire reports said a blaze at a 445 Alameda Ave. home on the North Side was intentional.
The fire happened at about 7:35 p.m. Wednesday and caused $5,000 in damage.
Crews found a fire in the dining room, which was quickly extinguished, but there was heavy smoke damage.
An elderly woman who lives there came home while firefighters were putting out the fire, reports said.