Controversy continues after Craig Beach fire - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Controversy continues after Craig Beach fire

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CRAIG BEACH, Ohio - After two neighboring homes in Craig Beach were destroyed by fire, village residents are questioning why their hometown fire department wasn't called to help battle the blaze.

At the end of a very busy day on Tuesday, Milton Township Firefighters show up to the Craig Beach Council Meeting where some village residents concerns center around why the Craig Beach Volunteer Fire Department wasn't used as mutual aid to battle a fire on Afton Avenue, that spread to a neighboring home. Furthermore, residents questions why the department can't be used in the future.

"What can we do to get our fire department back, Craig Beach Fire Department, " asked one resident. "Lets get together and get it back."

"If you have means right there that's silly, instead of dividing up and saying 'well we've been battling for this amount of time' well it's time to solve the battle," said another resident to village administrators.

Five neighboring fire stations responded to the blaze on Afton Avenue, but the Craig Beach Fire Department was not one of them, although they're located just blocks away.

Village officials explain Milton Township Fire is contracted to handle the fire in the village through 2015, instead of the hometown department.

"We do not trust them to give us accurate financial information," said Village Solicitor Gary Van Brocklin. "Until they can demonstrate that they can give the type of financial information necessary for a public entity we can't deal with them."

Craig Beach Fire Chief Sherman Yeager said financial information was provided and he believes his volunteer fire department is qualified, licensed and should be able to assist as a mutual aid if called upon.

"We're here to help people, we're suppose to work together not fight," Yeager said.

But according to Village officials and the Milton Township Fire Chief, the Craig Beach Fire Department is not licensed by the state as a valid fire department, therefore would not be used as mutual aid.

"Until there's documentation available to say they are, we're not going to use their resources," said Milton Twp. Fire Chief Harold Maynard. "If they can prove that documentation, I'm sure we can sit down and have that conversation."

Meanwhile, two families are without homes as some village residents question if more could have been done had the Craig Beach Fire Department responded.

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