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Lorain apartment fire believed to be arson

LORAIN — A fire that destroyed an apartment house at 832 N. Central Drive around 4:30 p.m. Monday is believed to have been set.

Assistant Fire Chief Dennis Livchak said firefighters found three separate fires in the two-floor, wood-frame house that included four apartments. The apartment where the fires began was the only occupied apartment.

Livchak said police officers, responding to the report of a suicidal 18-year-old man, kicked in the first-floor door, but were stopped by smoke inside the apartment. No one was found in the apartments. Firefighter Mark Hopewell was briefly hospitalized after spraining his ankle extinguishing the fire.

Firefighters contained the main fire on the first floor at 4:41 p.m. and also extinguished a fire in a second-floor closet and papers in a pan in the second-floor bedroom. Livchak said the house was a total loss but didn’t have a damage estimate.

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