Authorities search for car arsonist

Published 10:35 am Tuesday, August 11, 2009

IRONTON — State and local authorities are investigating two vehicle fires in Ironton within 24 hours; one of them is listed as arson.

Authorities said the first fire at approximately 4 a.m. Sunday in the 1100 block of McGovney Street damaged a Suzuki Forenza.

The second fire at 2 a.m. Monday destroyed a 1991 Chevrolet Lumina on Goldcamp Street. The owner, Dave Koonz, said he was awakened by whoever set his car on fire.

“I was almost asleep but not quite and I heard the horn blow and I looked through the gap in the curtains and could see flames,” Koonz said. “And when I went outside my car was on fire.”

Matt Mullins, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Commerce, said the State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating both fires. The Goldcamp Street fire is considered arson; the status of the McGovney Street fire is listed as undetermined as of this morning.

Information is not yet available about what was used to set the fires or if the two fires are related.

“It is unusual the two fires happened close together but at this point we can’t rule it out and can’t say for sure they are related,” Ironton Fire Chief Tom Runyon said.