Officials believe two fires at fruit farm deliberately set

Second fire reported at old Weiler Fruit Farm

Around 12:30 a.m., firefighters were called back out to the property in the 5700 block of Brantford Road and found barns on the property had been set on fire. Crews had responded around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday night for a fire that destroyed a house on the property.

Harrison Twp. Battalion Chief Sean McNeil said firefighters laid 2,500 feet of hose to get to the early morning fire. Crews had to use Google Earth to determine if there was a way to get water back to the fire, he said.

Thursday night, the house fire was allowed to burn itself out because crews couldn’t stretch their hoses to the flames.

The property is abandoned.

UPDATE @ 12:30 a.m. (Nov. 19): The fire at the old Weiler Fruit Farm is being investigated as suspicious, a Harrison Twp. fire battalion chief said.

There have been reports of young people in and out of the 3,700-square-foot house on 25 acres, which the battalion chief said is a total loss.

According to Montgomery County auditor’s records, the property in the 5700 block of Brantford Road is listed at $146,100.

FIRST REPORT (Nov. 18)

A fire that broke out at the old Weiler Fruit Farm in Harrison Twp. on Wednesday night was allowed to burn itself out because crews couldn’t stretch their hoses to the flames.

The fruit farm, 1001 Bartley Road, is an estimated 1,500 feet from the roadway and Harrison Twp. crews didn’t have hoses to reach that distance, Fire Chief Mark Lynch said.

Crews were dispatched about 8:45 p.m. on a report of a fully involved structure fire at Brantley and Brantford roads.

According to law.justia.com, the farm’s owner lost the farm in the mid-1990s through bankruptcy. The owner, listed as Charles Weiler, sought pauper status on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit from a state court judgment in Weiler v. First Home Union Home Equity Corp.

First Home Union filed a foreclosure action in state court after Weiler fell behind on his mortgage payments and the state court ordered the property sold at sheriff’s sale. Prior to the sale, Weiler filed a bankruptcy petition in April 1994.

Weiler tried unsuccessfully to get out of a settlement agreement reached in September 1994. He lost his appeal in August 1996.

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