Owner charged in arson that killed Hamilton firefighter

A home that caused so much heartache in Hamilton has been demolished

The Pater Avenue house where Hamilton Firefighter Patrick Wolterman died has been demolished.

Last month, on the second anniversary of Wolterman’s death in the arson fire at 1310 Pater Ave., Hamilton Safety Director J. Scott Scrimizzi said the city was working with the insurance company of the imprisoned homeowner to demolish that house.

MORE: Reward increased for information in arson, death of Hamilton firefighter

Wolterman and fellow firefighters responded to the Lester Parker residence at about 1:10 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2015 and rushed in to rescue the residents they believed were inside.

But the arson fire had already burned from the basement, weakening the flooring above. Wolterman fell through and died.

MORE: Prosecutor: Hamilton man planned to burn house for insurance money

Crews have demolished the Pater Avenue residence where Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman was killed fighting an arson fire in December 2018. LAUREN PACK/STAFF

Those older residents, Lester and Bertha Parker, weren’t trapped. They were gambling in Las Vegas. The man Lester Parker convinced to set the fire, his nephew William Tucker, was moving from hotel to hotel in Hamilton trying to sell pills he received in payment for the job.

Two years later, Lester Parker and William Tucker are both in prison after convictions for aggravated arson and murder following a November 2017 trial in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Demolition of the residence, once preserved as a crime scene, began last week. On Monday, crews were still at the location on “the Knob,” but the house was gone.

Scrimizzi said the cost of demolition is approximately $19,000. The city is being reimbursed by the Parker’s insurance carrier. He said there has been some internal discussions regarding the land, but it is currently owned by the Parkers.

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