Detectives with the Bellefontaine Police Department have identified three boys, ages 14 and 15, who they believe are responsible for a May 14 fire that destroyed the former Foos Mansion at 208 W. Chillicothe Ave.
The former Foos Mansion, 208 W. Chillicothe Ave., shown today, sits in condemned status since a May 14 arson fire, the teen culprits for which Bellefontaine Police officers have identified. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)
“We feel confident it was these three juveniles who are responsible for the fire,” Chief Brandon Standley said. “All three were there at the time and all three made incriminating statements to our detectives.
“The case was referred to the Logan County Prosecutor’s Office and it’s up to them on whether or not this is pursued as an arson case.”
Chief Standley said the department received a tip that led detectives to the teens.
As for the fate of the damaged home, the city wants it torn down.
“Obviously, our desire is to get it resolved as quickly as possible,” Service-Safety Director James Holycross said. “It remains a condemned property as it has been since shortly after the fire.
“We’re working with the owner, the Logan County Commissioners and a potential buyer to acquire it and raze it.”
Jennifer Van Horn of West Liberty is the current owner and had intentions of fixing it up.
She had no insurance on the massive two-story home that was built in the 1800s.
Mr. Holycross has said it is regrettable that it must come down, but it poses a threat to neighboring properties, including the U.S. Post Office at 132 S. Detroit St. and to anyone who sneaks onto the property.
The tall brick walls are not supported, especially on the second floor, he noted. The blaze also has weakened the brick and mortar increasing the likelihood the walls will fall.
Messages seeking comment from Logan County Prosecutor William T. Goslee were not returned.
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