breaking news


Dayton investigators work to pinpoint cause of Hewitt Soap factory fire 

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 6:15 AM

AFTERMATH: Hewitt Soap Factory demolition

UPDATE @ 6:48 p.m.:

Dayton arson investigators continue their work to pinpoint the cause of a massive fire at the former Hewitt Soap Company factory.

The blaze was the city’s largest since the same property burned one year ago.

Friday afternoon and into the early evening, demolition crews knocked down the charred remains of the building on the northern end of Linden Avenue.

>>RELATED: Doppler radar captures large smoke plume from Hewitt Soap Company fire

Part of the structure collapsed during the fire, which could be seen from miles away. Sky7 captured that part of the incident. 

Sky7 captured a piece of the Hewitt Soap Factory wall crumbling and crashing to the sidewalk below. STAFF PHOTO/Jarod Thrush

Dayton Fire Chief Jeff Payne ordered the emergency demolition of large sections of what was left of the building. It was an immediate danger because the walls were at risk of collapse.

The part of the factory that burned in December 2006 already had been reduced to rubble. The city paid a demolition firm to clean up the site, and the project wrapped up in October. 

Brett Houseman, whose family owns the Hewitt Soap Company property, says the fire may have been started by a trespasser. He said the building attracts metal scrappers, vandals and other unwanted persons.

Houseman said he wants city leaders to get tougher on those who scrap metal illegally, and those who trespass in vacant buildings. He said they are a frequent problem, they can cause a lot of damage and they put people in danger.

"The city is not doing enough to stop this," he said. 

A 911 caller on his way to work around 6 a.m. called in the fire.

Linden Avenue, I think it's the old Hewitt Soap Factory again. It's smoking, it is smoking everywhere, I can see flames inside. I'm going to work, the smoke is just everywhere it's firing everywhere," the caller said.

“This was a really, really big fire, and when I got there, every floor was completely involved,” Payne said.  

The cause of the fire at the property in December 2016 has never been determined because the city had the southern portion of the factory complex razed and the site cleared. Area 50, a building between the two that caught fire, remains standing.  

Former Dayton soap factory’s bad year: 2 fires, collapse and demolition

WATCH as part of the exterior wall collapses to the ground below when the old Hewitt Soap Factory building caught fire for the second time in less than a year.

Today’s fire required a massive response. Six of the fire department’s eight engines responded, as well as three of the departement’s four fire trucks, officials said.  

Firefighters did not enter the factory building for safety reasons because the structure was at risk of collapsing.

Payne said the building’s age and remnants of soap products made at the factory might have affected how fast it burned. Payne said he was told the owners previously had secured all doors, and there wasn’t much inside.

He was unable to comment on why people were believed in the building before the fire.

PHOTOS: Flames shoot out of former Hewitt Soap Factory

Bob Ringo, facilities manager, is responsible for keeping the buildings secure. No one is allowed inside, except for the he and the owners. He said it’s been an “ongoing battle” to keep out the homeless.

RELATED: Dayton soap factory demolition

“I just take care of it -- keep it safe for everybody, keep all the riffraff out. I was in here (Thursday) about 3:30 p.m. and everything was fine,” he said. “I come to work today and they said it was on fire. I keep all of these buildings here safe. Keep them locked down, keep people from breaking in and stealing.”

PHOTOS: Flames shoot out of former Hewitt Soap Factory

The soap factory, founded in 1897, was in operation until 2004 when it was bought by a competitor. That competitor later closed the facility. At its peak, it was the nation’s second-largest maker of specialty soaps, including the small bars used in hotels.

Houseman thanked fire crews for their work, which included saving the Area 50 structure. Doors had been installed there as protection.

He said his family has been actively trying to sell the soap factory buildings. Two buildings at the north end of the property have attracted interest from a Canadian company, he said. Those two buildings are called Building 9 and Building 10.

RELATED: Dayton soap factory fire kindles memories of perfume smell

PHOTOS: Dayton neighbors unhappy with Hewitt Factory fire mess

The rest of the Hewitt Soap factory is on fire and Sky 7 was able to capture these images from East Third street

Trending - Most Read Stories

Sheriff: I’ll offer conceal-and-carry class to local teachers

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 3:39 PM

Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones talks about school safety and threats to schools and what they are doing to address the problem.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones today said he will take steps to bolster local school safety by training those who work there.

Jones posted to social media that his office will offer free conceal-and-carry class to a limited number of teachers in Butler County. He also said training regarding on how to react during school shootings would be provided.


Posted by Butler County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, February 18, 2018

He said the details would be coming soon online and suggested that people could visit the Butler County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page for more information for CCW for teachers.

MORE: Here’s what area schools have done to boost security measures

Jones on Saturday said he has “been saying this for years” as he tweeted a Fox News story that Polk County, Fla. Sheriff Grady Judd said it would be a “game changer” to allow some hand-picked teachers to carry firearms in the classroom.


Jones, in a video posted Thursday, urged local schools to act now to improve school security in the wake of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla. high school on Wednesday.

He said local schools should stop doing fire drills and allow armed former police and military veterans into buildings to help protect students.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Dog, suspect unharmed after brief standoff with Dayton police

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 1:04 PM

East Dayton Standoff

Update@1:25 p.m.:

Police officers were initially sent to scene Saturday night for on domestic violence-related incident call, and the suspect wasn't home. But once he returned home Sunday afternoon, neighbors called police, and officers returned to the scene, said Sgt. Kyle B. Thomas of the Dayton Police Department.

When officers arrived, the unidentified suspect refused to come out and was concerned about the safety of his dog. So officers asked him to secure the dog in the house so it wouldn’t get injured, Thomas said. 

The dog’s breed and name were not released.

Officers then continued negotiating with the suspect and he subsequently came out of the house, and was taken in to custody. 

SWAT was not called to the scene. But the K9 unit as well as the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center were there make sure the dog’s well taken care of while the investigation takes place, Thomas said. 

There were not injuries to the dog, suspect or officers, Thomas, said, thanking the community for getting involved. 

“The community stepped up,” he said. “They were aware that we were looking for this guy and they made some calls and let us know where we could find him. Without their help we wouldn’t have him in custody right now.” 

It is unclear if the suspect has been charged. We will bring you the information as soon as charges as well as the 

First report:

We are hearing reports of a possible police standoff at an apartment complex located at Superba Court and North Irwin Street in Dayton. 

Multiple callers to our newsroom said there are several officers in the area, and they are using a loudspeaker to get someone to come out of a building. Although a police dispatch sergeant acknowledged that officers were called to the area, he couldn’t confirm that there is a standoff. 

We have sent a photographer to the scene, and we will bring you the latest information as it becomes available. 

Trending - Most Read Stories

Police: Woman said she was frustrated when she tossed dog out of moving car

Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 2:36 PM

Woman Accused of Tossing Dog Out of Moving Car

A woman in Texas has been arrested after she was caught on camera tossing her small dog named Pumpkin out of a moving vehicle.

The Chihuahua-mixed breed survived the incident and was found Thursday roaming a family's rural property in Weatherford, WFAA reported. Surveillance cameras on the property provided clear identification of the vehicle. The dog's microchip further confirmed the owner's identity. 

>> Read more trending news 

When questioned by Sgt. Ricky Montgomery, Janet Byas, 43, initially denied tossing the dog out of the vehicle. When the evidence of her involvement was presented to her, Montgomery said she admitted that she threw the dog out of the car because she was frustrated with it. She said Pumpkin would not stay on her property and she "couldn't handle it anymore," WFAA reported.

When WFAA asked for Montgomery's reaction to Byas' reasoning for throwing the dog out of the car, Montgomery said, "Grow up."

Byas was arrested and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty.

Pumpkin is recovering from the ordeal and will eventually be available for adoption, Parker County Animal Control said.

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories

2nd person charged with threatening juvenile judge on social media

Published: Thursday, February 08, 2018 @ 11:53 AM
Updated: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 5:51 PM

Devin Wilson
Devin Wilson

UPDATE @5:49 p.m. (Feb. 17)

A mugshot has been released of a second man charged with making threats on social media toward juvenile court judge Anthony Capizzi.

Marquan Cooper, 22, is wanted on a charge of intimidation. 

RELATED: ‘Not going to sugarcoat:’ Judge tells teens they could face years in prison

UPDATE @ 5:02 p.m. (Feb 16)

A second person has now been charged with making threats on social media toward juvenile court judge Anthony Capizzi.

Marquan Cooper, 22, of Dayton was charged with one count of intimidation.

Cooper was said to have made threats toward Capizzi and his family on social media using the alias “Quannie Coop”, according to the prosecutor’s office.

UPDATE @ 3:35 p.m. (Feb. 16)

Devin Wilson was indicted in Montgomery County for intimidation. He will be arraigned Feb. 22.

UPDATE @ 1:30 p.m. (Feb. 9)

Devin Wilson, 24, of Dayton has been formally charged in a threat made against a juvenile court judge, said Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney Mat Heck, Jr. in a release. 

The alleged threat against Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi was made on Feb. 2 on social media under the alias of "Ball Meezy," the release said. 

Wilson is charged with one count intimidation, a third‐degree felony. His case will now be presented to a grand jury. 

Wilson is currently on probation for a drug trafficking offense.

Heck’s release said his office will be seeking that Wilson be taken off probation and sentenced to 18 months in prison. 

"The defendant, on probation for less than one month, threatened a judge about a case, which is an assault on the entire criminal justice system. We have to take these matters very seriously, whether someone is threatening a judge, a prosecutor, a police 

officer, or any other court officer,” Heck said in a release.

EARLIER REPORT

A 24-year-old Dayton man was arrested Wednesday in connection with social media threats against a juvenile court judge, according to Dayton police.

Devin Wilson was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on a possible third-degree felony charge of intimidation or bribery of a public servant.

RELATED: Social media threats made against judge in Huber Heights robbery case

Social media posts advocating violence against Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi were reported to several law enforcement agencies, according to an email obtained by this news organization.

Capizzi is handling the juvenile court portion of the Huber Heights AT&T armed robbery case involving six juveniles and one adult.

A Dayton police report shows Wilson was arrested at 8:40 p.m. Wednesday at his residence on Edison Street. 

“If I ever see him I’m beating the (expletive) outta him he better pray I don’t catch him downtown coming out of that building,” said one post that included a photo of Capizzi.

RELATED: Man who shot Ohio judge is father of HS football player convicted in rape

Another post discovered by this news organization said, in part: “Somebody need to split Judge Capizzi wig when he get off work.”

Capizzi declined to comment.

RELATED: 3 dead after shooting at Michigan courthouse

Wilson was on probation after pleading guilty in January to aggravated trafficking of drugs. Wilson received five years’ community control as part of a plea in which a charge of trafficking of cocaine was dropped.

If found guilty of violating his probation, Wilson could face 18 months in prison plus whatever sanction is imposed if he is found guilty of a crime, according to a judge’s ruling in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow Mark Gokavi on Twitter or Facebook

In another case that was considered in Wilson’s probation, he was found guilty of possession of less than five grams of cocaine and aggravated possession of drugs.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

Trending - Most Read Stories