Hamilton fire called ‘suspicious’ injures 1 firefighter

A fire identified as suspicious by officials injured one firefighter and caused a significant amount of damage to a two-story home.

Jim Humphrey, who lives at the home at 528 Ludlow St., said he was in the living room at about 9 p.m. Wednesday when “I noticed the porch was getting bright.”

“So I opened the storm door and the glass immediately broke and the fire came into the kitchen and up into the attic and pretty much the whole house,” he told the Journal-News.

Humphrey, 69, said he lives alone and was able to get out of the burning home.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, “flames were coming out of the house,” said Hamilton Fire Chief Steve Dawson.

One firefighter was transported to a local hospital for what appeared to be heat exposure or exhaustion, according to Dawson.

“I do expect him to make a full recovery,” he said.

MORE: Tuesday night fire in Hamilton causes minor damage

Fire investigators were on the scene Thursday afternoon. No cause has yet been determined.

“We are looking at this fire as suspicious,” Dawson said.

Humphrey told the Journal-News it does not surprise him that someone may have intentionally set the fire.

Humphrey, who said he has been renting the property for four months, told the Journal-News he has had to chase away would-be vandals from the home before.

“A lot of bad people think they can come and do whatever they want in my yard and that I should accept it,” he said while cleaning up charred debris in his yard Thursday. “I’ve run quite a few people off.”

The home next door to Humphrey’s also suffered exterior damage from the fire.

The Red Cross responded to the scene to make sure those affected were able to get food and lodging, according to Dawson.

Wednesday was the second night in a row that firefighters had to respond to a fire in the city. On Tuesday evening, firefighters extinguished a fire at 339 S. 11th St. That fire was minor and did not cause any injuries. It is not under investigation, fire officials said.

Staff writer Nick Graham contributed to this report.

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