YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The Youngstown fire chief tells 21 news that his department was called to nine house fires over the weekend, all within close proximity of each other.

Chief John O'Neill said that six of the seven fires were on the south side of the city and one on the east side. Two of the fires were at occupied homes, but no residents were injured.

Firefighter Tim Jones was injured. O'Neill said Jones was treated for second degree burns at St. Elizabeth Medical Center and is in good condition.

Youngstown's fire fight began just before 3:30 Sunday morning.  

A list of the fires reported are as follows:

  • 17 Park Heights Avenue (vacant)

  • 54 E Avondale Avenue (vacant)

  • 38 Brooklyn Avenue (vacant)

  • 137 E Judson Avenue (vacant, crews were called to this home twice)

  • 167 Hilton avenue (vacant)

  • 540 Idora Avenue (occupied)

  • 3104 South Avenue (vacant, crews were called to this home twice)

The nine fires were in seven different locations; six of them on the city's south side and one on the east side.

Two of the fires were either re-kindled or re-set.

"Well we were tapped out. Everybody was out during a few of those periods, we had all the trucks out, so it put us right to our limit," says Youngstown Fire Chief John O'Neill. 

O'Neill says he believes all the homes were vacant, except one on Idora.

"There's a lot of similarities between the fires. We've been having a few up in the area, but that's the most at one time. So now we're starting to draw that together," O'Neill says. "It's just too hard to tell whether it's for kicks or what they're motive is."

At the Southern Boulevard blaze where firefighters had to respond twice, firefighter Tim Jones was injured falling through the steps as he swept the building to make sure no one was inside.

He burned his legs and is expected to recover. O'Neill says that if the fires were premeditated, the department will go to the fullest extent with charges. 

"Obviously, especially with injuries and all that, it becomes aggravated arson, they're using accelerants. We'll go with the prosecutors and have them put as many charges on them as we can. We'll include the injuries to the firefighters, too," O'Neill says.

The arson investigator and the fire department are confident that the rash of fires in the Avondale and Southern Boulevard areas are connected.