Woman accused of arson in Dayton house fire where crews rescued cats, dog

Firefighters rescued four cats, including two kittens, and a dog from the fire.

A woman is accused of setting multiple fires Friday inside her Mound Street house in Dayton, where firefighters rescued multiple cats and a dog.

Josie L. Rector, 43, is facing two counts of aggravated arson, according to Dayton Municipal Court records.

Firefighters removed two adult cats, two kittens and a dog from a house in the 100 block of Mound Street Friday afternoon. One of the adult cats did not survive. Dayton Fire Department medics gave oxygen to the cats after rescuing them, said Dayton Fire District Chief Chris Kinzler.

ExploreRELATED: Two kittens saved, one cat dead in afternoon house fire in Dayton
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Josie L. Rector. Photo courtesy Miami Valley Jails.

Josie L. Rector. Photo courtesy Miami Valley Jails.

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Josie L. Rector. Photo courtesy Miami Valley Jails.

When the firefighters first responded, neighbors reported that Rector might’ve still been inside the home, according to court records.

“Fire crews made an intense search for the resident while the fire was still burning intensely,” read an affidavit. “While searching for Josie, the stairs to the second floor collapsed creating significant dangers to the firefighters completing searches and fire extinguishment.”

Crews were unable to find Rector at the scene.

During an investigation fire examiners noted multiple fires were set inside the house as well as fire patterns that were consistent with the use of an ignitable liquid accelerant, according to court documents. The fire was determined to be set intentionally and ruled an aggravated arson.

Later the same day, Rector went to the Dayton Police Department and told an officer and fire investigator she intentionally set her house on fire, according to court documents.

“Rector told officer (Brian) Spencer that she stole gas from her neighbor and poured it on the walls and down the stairs to set the fire, which was consistent with the fire investigators’ ruling,” the affidavit read.

She was arrested and is being held in the Montgomery County Jail. Rector is scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon.

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