Investigators have determined a fire that occurred on Nov. 21 of 2018 at a Southwest Allen County home was set intentionally.
The arson investigator handling the case, Russ Wilson with American Structurepoint, confirmed to WANE 15 the fire in the 6600 block of West Hamilton Road South is considered arson.
Several departments responded to the home shortly after 6 a.m. that November day.
Firefighters arrived to find flames coming from the porch and roof. The century old home was destroyed and must be torn down. Investigators put a fence around the home as it is now considered a crime scene.
“I don’t think it was anybody I know,” said homeowner Patti Ottinger. “I don’t think I have any enemies. If I do they are very well hidden, I hardly ever leave my house.”
Ottinger said she purchased the home from her neighbor and was remodeling it for her stepdaughter to move in with her triplets. She said the home was two weeks from being finished when the fire was set.
“The kitchen was already all completely done, had the appliances, the tile, (now) it’s a mess.”
Ottinger is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. She is determined to find out who is responsible before they commit another crime.
“I’m afraid that one of these times they’re going to do it and somebody is going to get hurt. I think they think we’ll pick this vacant house or whatever and it’s just going to be fun or whatever it is. I don’t even know what their motivation would be, but it’s not okay.”
Fire investigator Russ Wilson told WANE 15 his full report will be released later this week.