Caption

Bond set for family member jailed on arson charges in Dayton house fire

UPDATE @ 2:44 p.m. (Feb. 26):

The 23-year-old man accused of aggravated arson and arson in connection to a fire at his family’s South Terry Street home had his bond set at $500,000 in Dayton Municipal Court Monday.

James Dennis appeared before Judge Christopher Roberts.

Dennis is accused of using a lighter to set a couch on fire, knowing that his mother and brother were still inside, according to an affidavit filed in municipal court.

UPDATE @ 5:15 p.m. (Feb. 23)

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A 23-year-old man remains jailed in connection to a fire set Thursday at his family’s Terry Street home in Dayton.

James Dennis was booked Thursday into the Montgomery County Jail on suspicion of two counts of aggravated arson and a single count of arson. He will be arraigned Monday in Dayton Municipal Court, online jail records show.

James Dennis

FIRST REPORT

Dayton police arrested a man Thursday afternoon in connection with a fire just hours after city firefighters rescued people from the second floor and roof of the burning house.

Two people, a man and a woman, were taken to the hospital — with one of them reportedly suffering from life-threatening injuries.

Pets, people rescued from Terry Street fire

James Dennis, 23, of Dayton was arrested on suspicion of aggravated arson after the fire at 29 S. Terry St., according to a police report.

The victims and the suspect are relatives, firefighters said. 

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The investigation is now a joint effort by Dayton fire and police departments, said Sgt. Michael Godsey of the Dayton police homicide squad, which was later called to the address following the fire first reported about 11 a.m.

MARSHALL GORBY/ STAFF

The man and woman rescued were transported to a local hospital, but authorities have not released their names.

The 20-year-old man was in serious condition Thursday afternoon. No condition was available for the woman.

Multiple people called 911 to report the fire, including one of the residents, who said they couldn’t get out of the house.

“It’s hard to breathe,” the caller told dispatchers. “I can’t get out. I can’t see.”

A person who made it to the roof also called 911, firefighters said.

“We couldn’t see him. He was in so much smoke,” said Dayton District Chief Rennes Bowers.

The person on the roof was brought down with ladders and treated for smoke inhalation.

Bowers said the fire appeared to start from the first floor and spread.

“We actually had crews making their way to the second floor as we were fighting the fire on the first floor,” he said.

Medics also treated two dogs for smoke inhalation, Bowers said.

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