College Avenue fire still under investigation


The scene after a fire broke out on Oct. 2, at 210 East College Avenue around 1 a.m.

Bruce Walton

A fire broke out last Friday at 210 East College Avenue around 1 a.m. and emergency officials arrived on the scene in minutes to combat the flames and smoke.

The fire department answered a call on a private line, which alerted them to smoke outside the front of the department, according to the report. The firefighters suppressed the fire and then allowed officials to assess the structural damage of the two-story wood frame house, already abandoned and set for demolition in two weeks.

“FirstEnergy was contacted to ensure that the power was off at the pole because the house twist was intact however the meter had been pulled,” the report said.

Dan Kline, a Kent State alumnus, 29, said he returned home around 1 a.m. with his girlfriend Tyrany Montez to their home on College Avenue when they saw billowing smoke while driving on Depeyster Street.

“By that point, we drove through a billow of smoke and some flashing lights off the side so we knew there was already something going on,” Kline said. “But we got here when the authorities were already down here trying to take care of it.”

Kline, who grew up in Kent, said he felt concerned over the safety of the street’s neighborhood. Kline also expressed concern that the fire might have been caused by the “recklessness” of students living in the area or passing by. Kline said he mostly assumes that as the cause—though not as person of authority—is in accordance with thrown objects, trespassing and sheer amount of foot traffic through the neighborhood. He said he mostly hears people in the evening around his house.

“They kind of rush into the place and I hear them whooping and hollering and I go and I look and I maybe hear something break and I look out at my car and that type of thing,” he said. “So it goes to where I look out and I see them out of concern, not of curiosity.”

The officials began to leave the site around 3 a.m., according to the report. Lt. Craig Peeps said the investigation into the cause of the fire is still underway, which Chief John Tosko and the Investigation team began to conduct the night of the fire.

Contact Bruce Walton at [email protected].