Fire damages two Middletown homes; teen faces charges

MIDDLETOWN — A teenager is facing two charges of aggravated arson for allegedly starting a fire Monday night on Charles Street that spread to a neighboring house, according to police and fire officials.

The division of fire was dispatched about 7:10 p.m. to 218 Charles St. The first crew arrived within a minute and found heavy fire on the first floor of the two-story residence, according to Fire Capt. Frank Baughman, who is also the city’s fire marshal.

Through witnesses and neighborhood security cameras, investigators were able to determine two people were coming and going before the fire started.

“There were a couple of suspects going in and out of the property right before the fire was reported that led to recognizing one of those subjects and to an arrest,” Baughman said.

The 16-year-old male was questioned at the police department and ultimately charged with two counts of aggravated arson then transported to the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center, Baughman said. Investigators are still looking for the second suspect, who is also believed to be a juvenile.

According to Butler County Juvenile court records, the teen suspect confessed to starting the fire. He was arraigned by a magistrate Tuesday morning and ordered to stay in the county juvenile detention center until his next court date in front of Judge Erik Niehaus on April 7.

ExploreRemains of Katelyn Markham decomposed before being dumped, anthropologist says

The house where the fire started was under reconstruction, but the neighboring house was also damaged, which led to two charges, Baughman said.

A fire report is not yet completed.

About the Author