YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Fire Department released surveillance video to WKBN Friday showing a man setting fire to a south side Youngstown home Tuesday night.
The video shows the man dumping a flammable substance on the house’s front porch, then setting fire to it.
Investigators are now asking for the public’s help in identifying that man.
A passerby noticed the house fire on East Chalmers Avenue near the dead end at I-680 around 9 p.m. Tuesday night. The driver called 911.
When firefighters combed the premises to see if someone was inside, they didn’t find anyone.
The front of the house was badly damaged, but the didn’t damage the most critical witness — the surveillance video.
The footage doesn’t give a clear shot of the man’s face, but Youngstown Chief Fire Investigator Kurt Wright said it helps because they do not have to work backwards to determine a cause.
“To have this, to see how the suspect entered the property as well as spread the fuel, it is very rare,” Wright said.
Investigators do not believe this was a one man job.
“Approximately 10 minutes before, a different individual entered the front porch, knocked on the door. Nobody answered, and that person left,” Wright said.
Investigators think that was to check if anyone was home, and because they weren’t, the other man had time to set the fire.
Police have been looking into whether the fire is connected to the murder of 22-year-old Richard Macklin, who was found dead about four hours prior to the time that the fire started. Investigators would not say Friday what they discovered in relation to that shooting.
If you do have any information related to the men from the surveillance video, you can contact the Arson Investigation Unit at at 330-782-0055.