Officials investigating arson in Middletown house where body was found

Posted at 4:37 PM, Nov 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-07 16:54:14-05

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- Police have listed a Middletown fire where a body was found as arson, a classification needed to launch the joint police and fire investigation that is now underway.

It only took firefighters about 10 minutes to knock down the fire on Jacoby Avenue early Saturday morning.

Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli said that the cause of the fire was still undetermined, and the arson classification was made to help launch a broader investigation into what happened.

"We always get a little suspicious when the house is unoccupied," Lolli said.

It appears that the fire may have started upstairs, which is also where the victim was found, according to Lolli. Investigators are checking to see if accelerants like gasoline or paint thinner were used.

¬¬Investigators also have to determine why someone was in the house, and if they had permission to be there, Lolli said.

Officials haven't yet said if they know the identity of the person who was found dead in the house.

Neighbor Keith Morre said he was shocked to learn that someone was found by firefighters upstairs.

"As neighbors, we have just have to be vigilant and watch out for each other and make sure that, if we see anything that we shouldn't see going on, we should report it."