CONNEAUT LAKE —
A Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal will be on the site of a structure fire that damaged an abandoned home and vacation cottage inside Conneaut Lake Park early Saturday.
Summit Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Pete Albaugh said his department was called to a fire at 12454 Reed Ave. at 3:38 a.m. When firefighters arrived, the structure was fully involved and had spread to a cottage located behind it.
Albaugh said the Reed Avenue structure, which is located across from the picnic pavilions just inside Conneaut Lake Park, was unoccupied and not inhabitable. The structure, owned by the Conneaut Lake Park Trustees, was in the process of renovation which occured years ago but was never completed.
“The upstairs was gutted,” Albaugh said. “There were no walls upstairs.”
It is the third fire to abandoned structures in the vicinity in less than a month. Firefighters responded to a fire at a vacant summer cottage on Reed Avenue back on May 30. Three days later they responded to a second cottage fire on the same street.
“It really is unusual to have three fires in that short of a time in three abandoned structures,” Albaugh said, while noting he could say for sure if the fires were related. “I’m hoping we can get to the bottom of this and figure it out.”
The house involved in Saturday’s fire was uninsured. Albaugh said it was a viable structure, but needed a lot of work and he was hesitant to put a value on the damage.
As for the nearby cottage, Albaugh said it suffered between $7,500 and $10,000 worth of damage at least. The structure is owned by Laurence Hawk of Akron, Ohio, and is believed to be insured, Albaugh said.
Summit was assisted by Conneaut Lake Park, Conneaut Lake, Linesville, North Shenango and Conneautville fire departments.
Lisa Byers can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.