Two Middletown men are facing multiple charges in connection with a fire that destroyed a garage and damaged the facades of three houses Wednesday on Woodside Boulevard.
Trevor Skies, 19, and Wesley Hudgel, 19, both of South Verity Parkway, were arrested Friday, according to Middletown Police Lt. Jimmy Cunningham. They are each charged with three counts of aggravated arson, one count of arson, one count of disruption of public services, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of intimidation.
Cunningham said the men, who just moved to the city from Miamisburg, stole a flare gun and shot it through the window of the garage in the 1200 block of Woodside Boulevard on Wednesday afternoon. The fire has been ruled as incendiary.
“There arrests were made after excellent work by the Middletown Arson Task Force,” Cunningham said. That task force is made up of firefighters and police officers.
Flames and heavy smoke began shooting out of a detached garage in the 1200 block about 3:10 p.m. sending a dark plume of smoke into the sky. The garage and contents of furniture and clothing were gone in a matter of minutes.
On Wednesday, several people in neighboring houses were taken to the police station for questioning.
Also, as part of the investigation into the fire, detectives removed children from a home in the 1100 block of South Verity Parkway due to living conditions, Cunningham said.
Search warrants were also served for mobile devices in connection with people living in that house.
There was tension among the neighbors while police were at the scene Wednesday afternoon, according to eyewitnesses.
Cunningham said there was a previous case involving the resident where the garage was destroyed and the two men who were arrested.
“That’s why they are charged with intimidation,” he said.
Sue Massey, who lives on Garden Avenue, was out walking when she smelled smoke and then saw fire coming from the garage on Woodside Drive.
Massey said she heard “one loud boom” and about 15 minutes later the garage was gone.