YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A family wants answers after their father’s south side Youngstown home was set on fire just hours after he passed away.
Investigators have ruled the fire on Miller Street arson and police believe it started as a burglary.
Ode Grubb Sr., 87, died at 3 p.m. Jan. 24 at his home, and it was hours later that the fire broke out.
“It was very devastating. It was the last thing that we expected. We haven’t been able to mourn our father’s death,” said Grubbe’s daughter Sherri Grubb-Wolfe.
Grubb-Wolfe said the family stayed at the house after Grubb passed away until about 6 p.m.
“We locked everything up and left. We estimate that somewhere between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. that someone broke into the house,” Grubb-Wolfe said.
Firefighters were called to house about 2 a.m. Alvin Ware, with the Youngstown Fire Department’s Arson Unit, said the fire was an attempt to cover up a burglary.
A big-screen television and money were stolen from the house. The home is insured, but, Grubb-Wolfe said they lost irreplaceable items such as pictures of family members in antique frames dating back to the 1800s.
The fire destroyed many family heirlooms promised to Grubb’s four grandchildren.
“We still have memories of him wanting it for us. We can’t pass it down to our children when we want to and we can’t keep it in the family,” said Aymie Hittle, Grubb’s granddaughter.
A $5,000 reward has been set up for any information leading to an arrest or conviction in the case.
Grubb-Wolfe said her father, a retired carpenter, worked hard on his family’s home and they just want answers.
“It will at least bring closure. And the way I feel, my father and mother are not going to rest in peace until they know,” Grubbe-Wolfe said.