Woman indicted for blaze that injured firefighter
By Joe Gorman
An Austintown woman has been indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury on two counts of aggravated arson in an April fire that severely injured a Youngstown firefighter.
Alisha D. Bowers, 39, of Fountain Square, is charged with setting a fire April 16 at a 1328 East High Ave. home.
The grand jury issued the indictment Thursday but it was not released until Friday.
One of the two counts in the indictment said the fire caused “serious physical harm” to Lt. Marilyn Nadal.
Fire reports said Nadal was burned by steam on the second floor of the home. Reports said the home was occupied but no one was home at the time of the fire.
The steam was caused by water that was squirted on the flames to put the fire out.
Fire Department Capt. Kurt Wright of the Fire Investigation Unit said the home received significant damage but was not destroyed. He said Bowers, who is the homeowner, has opted for the home to be demolished.
Wright said that he interviewed Bowers but she denied setting the fire.
Wright said two samples he sent to be tested contained no trace of an accelerant, but he said the fire was started with “materials on hand.” He did not elaborate.
Nadal suffered second-degree burns to her hands and ears and has returned to the department to light duty, Wright said. He said she still is getting skin grafts from the burn unit at Akron Children’s Hospital. She has been with the department for about 15 years.
Wright said a warrant was issued for Bowers’ arrest Thursday. As of late Friday afternoon, she was not yet in custody, according to records at the Mahoning County jail.