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Two arrested, charged in 4-alarm CUF fire in September

Posted at 10:29 AM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 10:53:06-05

CINCINNATI — After an investigation, officials arrested and charged two people in a four-alarm fire in the Clifton Heights, University Heights, Fairview (CUF) neighborhood over a month ago, which caused over $1 million in damages.

Investigators with the Cincinnati Fire Department arrested and charged Arlenia Tolbert and Kobe Fritts for the fire on Sept. 23 at 2518 Addison St.

Around 4:30 a.m. that morning, fire crews responded to the intersection of Addison and Halstead streets for a large fire which started in one building. Fire Chief Roy Winston said the fire spread to five nearby buildings and caused one structure to partially collapse.

"I went to the window and the fire department, police were everywhere and the smoke was real thick," Brenda Masur, a neighbor who lives near the scene, said. "I was afraid it was going to spread over even more and there's kids that live in the white house..."

Fire crews rescued two elderly people from the structures, but no one was severely injured from the fire.

Tolbert faces aggravated arson, conspiracy to commit arson and insurance fraud charges. She was arraigned Thursday morning in a Hamilton County courtroom, and deputies are holding her in the Hamilton County Justice Center on a $110,000 bond.

Fritts faces two counts of complicity to aggravated arson. He has not faced a judge at this time.