Springfield Township Police detectives arrested two adults and a juvenile accused of starting fires at two homes in the township.
William Conley, 18, of Montgomery Street in Akron, and Mickey Thrasher, 18, of Samuel Road in Springfield Township, along with a 15-year-old also from Springfield Township, have been charged with felony counts of breaking and entering and aggravated arson. According to Springfield Police, the three are alleged to have started fires at vacant homes at 483 Celia Ave. in December and at 3440 Carper Ave. on May 1.
While the homes were vacant, police say the blazes exposed firefighters to great risks while fighting them. In fact, WEWS in Cleveland reports while putting out the May 1 blaze, firefighter Michael Marias had to lunge and hang onto a first-floor wall and closet after the floor collapsed into the basement - where the fire was started. Marias was grabbed and pulled up by two fellow firefighters.
"Just that feeling of that floor bowing underneath you and then dropping is just a sickening feeling," Marias told WEWS. "It's fight or flight and you're scrambling to do what you can to make sure you're not hurt."
Conley and Thrasher have been booked into the Summit County Jail. The 15-year-old's case will be handled in juvenile court.
Springfield Police Chief David Hoover told WEWS that Conley called 911 to report the December blaze and police listed him as a witness.
The three are also possible suspects in two vehicle fires in the township, while Akron Police detectives are investigating whether they were involved in a string of vehicle fires in the city.