Properties damaged, ‘major conflagration’ avoided after tires, garage burn in Dayton

A fire in a pile of tires led to a large plume of smoke and damage to several properties in Old North Dayton Monday afternoon.

The fire was reported at 3:19 p.m. in the 1400 block of Leonhard Road in Dayton, according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.

Dayton Fire Department District Chief Matt McClain said that the fire started in a garage surrounded by a large pile of old tires.

He said that the tires catching fire led to a lot of quick heat build-up, and with the aid of a breeze the fire spread quickly.

The plume of smoke from the fire reached hundreds of feet into the air and was visible for miles.

Credit: Josh Sweigart

Credit: Josh Sweigart

In all, McClain said that eight addresses were damaged by the fire, including three on Leonhard Road and five on nearby Lamar Street. Most of the damage was to detached garages, but there was also damage to houses, including melting siding and roof damage.

The district chief specifically said that rubber embers landed on the roof of the home across the street from the fire and set the roof on fire.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

He said that fire crews from Dayton, Riverside and Harrison Twp. responded to the blaze, and were able to keep the fire contained to the outside of houses.

McClain said their quick response prevented a “major conflagration” in the neighborhood.

He said that in all, most of the damage from the fire was contained to garages, and people were likely going to be allowed back into the damaged homes.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

No injuries were reported due to the fire, and the district chief said that crews brough medics and air trucks to help keep firefighters hydrated and help cool them down while they fought the flames. He added that this response is typical during the summer months.

The fire dealt some damage to power lines in the area, and McClain said that power would be out in the area while fire crews and AES crews worked.

A backhoe was also called to the scene to help spread out the tires to help put out the fire.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, McClain said. He added that some witnesses had reported “suspicious people” in the area so investigators were looking into those reports.

The district chief said that the city had officials working on the property previously to remove materials, saying that a few weeks ago they had removed oil drums and were in the process of getting the tires removed.

When asked whether any charges would be filed connected to the fire, McClain said that would be up to city officials and environmental officials who would be investigating the scene.

The estimated cost of the fire is currently unknown.

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