YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The Youngstown Fire Department saw an increase of 22 arson cases in 2019 from 2018.
The department answered a total of 115 calls in 2019 that ended up being ruled as arson, an increase from 93 arson cases in 2018.
Of those arson cases, 60 were in residential structures, or houses, an increase of 8 from 2018; 41 were vehicle fires, an increase of 11; 12 were vacant businesses or commercial buildings, an increase of three; and two were from garages.
The department also recorded one death in 2019 from fire, the December death of a woman in a Winona Drive home. The cause of that fire is expected to be ruled accidental.
The business and residential fires were a mixture of occupied and vacant homes, said Youngstown Fire Investigator Capt. Kurt Wright.
Wright said the increase was negligible, calling it a fairly typical year since arson in the city began declining a couple of years ago.
The busiest month for arson was May, with 17 fires.
The side of town with the most arson cases was the south side, which saw 47 cases of arson.