Miamisburg PD searching for suspects they say intentionally started duplex fire

Miamisburg PD searching for suspects they say intentionally started duplex fire (Courtesy: Miamisburg Police Department)

MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Five people narrowly escape a burning duplex in Miamisburg, now police are on the hunt for the suspects they say started the fire.

It happened early Wednesday morning in the 500 block of Buckeye Street.

Fire officials said it was started in the 523 unit of the duplex, and spread to the neighboring unit 521.

Police released surveillance photos of the suspect, that were recorded before flames overtook the camera.

"There could have been five fatalaties, I mean that would have been insane," said Aaron Collins.

Collins, his girlfriend and their two kids escaped the inferno thanks to the sound of their smoke alarms.

The fire took over their home minutes after they got out.

"All I can picture is it being much worse and me having to jump off the roof with my two kids in my hands," Collins told FOX 45's Kelly May, "Which would have been crazy, but I would have done it to get out of there, I would have done it."

On the morning of the fire, officials said a teen jumped from the second story window of the unit where it started.

His mother was at work at the time.

"It was clearly deliberate, I mean whoever did it clearly they were out to hurt people," Collins said about the surveillance photos, "I mean I couldn't think of why you'd want to flip somevbody's couch over, douse it in gasoline, and set it on fire."

Police posted the surveillance photos on social media, and when FOX 45 went to talk with Collins and his girlfriend Lindsay, tips were already turning out.

"Someone just texted me the name of the person that set our house on fire on Buckeye Street, so I need a cop here as soon as possible!" Lindsay said, calling dispatchers about one of the tips.

The family went to report the tips at the Miamisburg Police station.

"I'm feeling comfortable that we're going to see some justice as far as them catching him," Collins said, "I mean we've completely lost everything."

News of the fire has the Miamisburg community sending donations to Aaron, Lindsay and their kids.

"Because of the gas that they used, the accelerant that they used, is the reason why it went up so quick," Collins explained about their narrow escape.

"Looking at the place is like everything that we've worked hard for and spent every last dollar that we have is gone," he said.

If you can help identify the person involved, call Miamisburg Police at (937) 847-6609 or CrimeStoppers at 222-STOP.

You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

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