Official: Fire destroyed Youngstown home deemed unlivable days before

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Fire destroyed a house on Youngstown’s west side early Friday morning.

It happened just before 2:30 a.m. at 139 Halls Heights Ave.

Neighbor Phillip Fobes — who saw it all — is still in shock from what happened.

“I just heard a bunch of windows shattering so I checked out the window to see what was going on. There’s a huge fire across the street on the side of the window,” he said.

Fobes said he immediately thought of his neighbors living beside the burning house.

“I’m trying to knock on the door. They’re not answering but I end up getting ahold of them and they end up moving the cars and stuff like that,” Fobes said.

Fire crews got to the house minutes after Fobes’ parents called 911.

Part of the roof had already started to collapse.

Firefighters were able to control the fire from outside, putting it out in about 15 to 20 minutes.

No one was injured by the fire because no one was inside at the time. Fire officials said it had been deemed unlivable just a few days ago.

“The house was occupied but recently red-tagged by the city for lack of utilities. So fortunately, there were no occupants in danger or inside the house at the time,” said Youngstown Fire Captain Kurt Wright.

Crews said they think the fire started in the attic but they’re still looking into the cause.

He said it’s going to be difficult for investigators to get back inside.

“With the extensive damage to the roof structure, it’s going to be difficult for safety reasons to enter the structure for a full investigation,” Wright said.

He is asking anyone with information about this fire or activity at the house to call the Youngstown Arson Bureau at 330-782-0055 or the Youngstown Police Department at 330-747-7911.