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LEETONIA Reward is offered for firebombing tips



Published: Sat, September 7, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Police now have some leads in two firebombing arson investigations.

By NANCY TULLIS

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LEETONIA -- A $1,000 reward offered by Fire Chief Ken Garlough will aid in the investigation of the firebombing of the Garlough home, Police Chief John Soldano said.

The firebombing Aug. 18 was the second in the village this summer. The first was July 19.

Soldano said the investigation into both firebombings is proceeding better now than at the beginning.

Soldano said he and Salem Township Constable Dan Valentine are working the case and have put in many extra hours.

"We're getting some leads," Soldano said. "Kenny asked me about the reward and I told him it was a good idea. Money talks, so it should help someone to come forward."

Soldano said Garlough will pay the reward from his own pocket if information given to police leads to a conviction in the case.

"This is still on everyone's minds here and we're working hard at it," he said.

What happened

The Garloughs were on a camping trip when someone attempted to throw a lighted plastic bottle containing a flammable liquid through a rear window of their home at 374 Washington St.

Soldano said the plastic container broke the window but bounced back and landed on the wooden deck. The deck, some patio furniture and some siding on the back of the home was damaged, he said.

He said a passing motorist and a neighbor called police. A neighbor dumped buckets of water from a swimming pool and then used a garden hose to douse the flames until firefighters arrived.

Earlier case

A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to a conviction in the July case, when someone threw a glass bottle containing a flammable liquid through the dining-room window of the home of John and Shirley Hearn at 541 Butcher Road.

Fire officials said the resulting fire at the Hearns home burned the dining room wall, carpeting, curtains and furniture.

Fire officials said the Hearns were awakened by smoke detectors about 2 a.m., and John Hearn was able to put out the fire with a garden hose.

Soldano said agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Columbiana County Arson Task Force and the state fire marshal's office are assisting village police and fire officials. Officials have no information indicating the firebombings are related.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at (330) 427-6731.




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