Huber Heights homeowner charged with arson indicted after insurance claim

Man faces insurance fraud in May 2022 fire.

A Huber Heights homeowner already accused of intentionally setting fire to a house in May 2022 was additionally indicted this week for insurance fraud.

Jeremy Sparks, 35, was issued a summons to appear Monday for his arraignment in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

He is scheduled to go to trial next month for two counts of arson but it is not immediately clear who the new charge will affect the pending case.

“Sparks is accused of setting the house at 7901 Berchman Drive on fire and then filing an insurance claim for the loss of the property and contents,” said Greg Flannagan, Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman.

The insurance claim was for more than $350,000, Flannagan said, which is more than triple the $100,000 loss to property and contents estimated in a Huber Heights Fire Division report.

The house was engulfed when crews responded around 10:30 p.m. May 27, 2022.

“It just sounded like a bomb went off,” said a 911 caller from a Harshmanville Road residence behind Sparks’ property. “There’s flames roaring from the house right now.”

A neighbor across the street reported hearing a large explosion and later said she could hear glass breaking out.

“It’s on fire bad,” she said. “I see black smoke and flames.”

Crews had to force their way in. Fire departments from Butler Twp., Dayton and Vandalia also responded to assist, according to a call log.

“Fire involvement was throughout entire residence, contents were limited,” a fire report stated.

Crews were on scene for nearly three and a half hours.

The report did not state the cause of the fire, but noted there were no smoke detectors.

Sparks arrived at the property during the fire and was detained so he could speak to a Huber Heights Police Division detective. He was identified as a suspect, fire records show, and reportedly told police the house was under foreclosure.

Sparks bought the property for $100,000 on Jan. 24, 2018, described as a 1,404-square-foot brick ranch-style house built in 1962, according to the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office.

A mortgage foreclosure was filed in March 2022 by PennyMac Loan Services LLC and the property was sold for $105,501 on Sept. 26, common pleas court records show.

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