DARKE COUNTY – The Ohio Blue Ribbon Arson Committee is offering a reward up to $5,000 and The Darke County Crime Stoppers are offering a reward up to $2,000 for information leading to a conviction in a string of arson fires in the Greenville area.
Officials from the Darke County Sheriff’s Office, Greenville Fire Department and Greenville Police Department spent Thursday morning posting signs at four locations of past fires to let the public know about rewards being offered in the cases.
“It’s very important for people to contact the Greenville City Police Department at 548-1103 with any information they might have,” Assistant Fire Chief Shannon Fritz of the Greenville Fire Department said. “If this information leads to a conviction of an arson case, you could be rewarded up to $5,000 through the Arson Blue Ribbon Committee.”
Along with the Ohio Blue Ribbon Arson Committee offering rewards up to $5,000 in each of the arson cases, Crime Stoppers is offering an additional reward up to $2,000.
“With the arsons we’re investigating, there’s a $2,000 reward offered through Crime Stoppers on top of the Blue Ribbon Arson reward,” Deputy Doug Didier of the Darke County Sheriff’s Office said. “If they have any information regarding any crime – in this case we’re looking for information regarding the arsons – if they have any information they can contact Crime Stoppers at the Darke County Sheriff’s Office.”
The arson fires have targeted abandoned garages, abandoned houses and vehicles in the Greenville area in recent months.
“We need help from the public to let us know what is going on,” Detective Morrisa Reed of the Greenville Police Department said. “Any information that could help us solve these crimes would be greatly appreciated.”
In October, a fire on Pine Street in Greenville destroyed a garage and spread to other buildings including a used book store. One firefighter was injured during the blaze when a hose line busted, wrapped around his neck and yanked him to the ground. He has since recovered and is back on the job.
“We were lucky that night,” Fritz said. “The guys took precaution. He’s a big fella. He was able to sustain a lot of that force from the hose line. Any civilian or any other person in that situation with the amount of damage and heat coming off could have been severely injured, catastrophic. We’re trying to put a stop to this. If the community pulls together, we get some information, get it to the police department and we work together, hopefully we can put a stop to this very soon and incidents like this will be over with and that danger will be done.”
Officials declined to comment on any leads their investigations have produced.
“All the cases are under investigation,” Fritz said. “At this time we’re not commenting on any leads or any possible avenues that the police department has investigated.”
Anyone with information about the fires or other suspicious activity is encouraged to contact the Greenville Police Department at 937-548-1103, the Darke County Sheriff’s Office at 937-548-2020 or The Darke County Crime Stoppers at 937-547-1661. Anonymous tips can be made to the Crime Stoppers line.
“We need the public’s help in many cases with people being vigilant, paying attention to what’s going on around them,” Didier said.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.