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Scioto County Arson Fires

By: Randy Yohe
By: Randy Yohe

Two suspected arsons in two days, in a two block area. A century old church and an abandoned home were burned to ashes. Now, nervous neighbors in one rural community are worried they might be next.

The Bloom Fire Chief says he feared for his volunteer’s safety fighting an early Saturday afternoon blaze at an abandoned Williams Street home. Fire Marshals say arson is suspected and a block away at the Scioto Furnace United Methodist Church. The church burned early Friday morning. Pastor Don Meadows was married in the century-old church, but he says lost memories are not his biggest concern.

Firefighters helped police make a quick arrest after the church fire, charging Jonathan Rawlins with arson. Previous police reports say the young man living in a shanty behind the church is suspected in smaller fires in this neighborhood.

A Fire Marshal on the scene of the house fire said he expects another quick arrest.

With a dwindling congregation of about fifteen, there's a question as to the church's future.

The only silver lining was a good insurance policy.

Pastor Meadows says his church congregation will still meet for worship Sunday morning, but they will meet at his home.


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