by Jeff “JP’ Miklovic
On Saturday, January 24, 2015, 9:36 am, North Baltimore Fire and Police responded to 108 Rhodes Ave. in the village, to smoke coming from the residence at that location. Upon the arrival of the emergency personnel flames were visible through the door and windows.
NB Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ted “Hunker” Francisco reports that two engines, the equipment truck and 20 fire fighters responded, with Bloomdale Fire on stand-by. The fire was in the living room area. The fire took about 30 minutes to bring under control.
NB Police Chief Allan Baer reports that no one was located in the home and the residents were NOT present at the time of the fire. It was determined that the residence did NOT have electric service. Ohio State Fire Marshal arrived to conduct a Forensic Examination and it was determined that the start of the fire was Arson. The value of the damage is undertermined at this time. A reward is being offered for any information that leads to an arrest/conviction. Any citizen that has information please contact the North Baltimore Police Department. Thank you. Chief Allan Baer
Information from the Wood County Auditor website shows that Maynard and Bonnie Tefft sold the property to Maynard Tefft, on January 6, 2015. Then, Maynard sold the property to the Wood County Park District on January 22, 2015. The Park District had recently entered into this transaction with Tefft, after he approached them late in 2014 about selling his property.
The site sits to the west of the Park District’s Slippery Elm Trail (SET) Terminus, which is located on East Broadway, in North Baltimore. The park district built a fence between the park area and the Tefft property a couple of years back, due to the unsightly conditions. In 2014, the district purchased the abandoned house on West Broadway just west of the trail parking lot, razed it and worked with the NB Boy Scouts and NB Area Chamber of Commerce to erect a sign.
The park district has plans to clear the former Tefft property and continue with developing the land around the beautiful terminus site, which includes shade tree, landscaping, a large parking lot, a facsimile of a railroad depot, a pergola and picnic seating, along with rest rooms (with indoor plumbing). The Slippery Elm Trail is a 13 mile lateral, multi-purpose and accessible trail running north to Bowling Green.