BOARDMAN -- Officials suspect a weekend house fire may have been deliberately set to cover up a burglary, where more than $15,000 worth of merchandise was taken.
Police reports say firefighters were sent to a home in the 4000 block of Lockwood Boulevard just after 3 a.m. Monday. When firefighters arrived, they discovered a small fire in the home's utility room.
Firefighters put out the blaze, but then discovered something more startling -- the house had been ransacked and apparently burglarized. Fire officials said the blaze appeared to have been set as an afterthought to cover up the burglary.
Township police were called and officers discovered what was described as "extensive damage to the inside of the house." The 47-year-old homeowner told police she had been away from the residence and returned to find the fire damage and missing items.
Reports say $560 in cash was taken along with four gold rings with diamonds worth $5,000, six gold chains worth $3,000, two bracelets with diamonds worth $2,000, one gold watch with diamonds worth $1,000, charms worth $4,000, a $2,500 engagement ring and a $300 diamond stud.