Keith R. Day has been arrested for allegedly starting the fire that destroyed several buildings in Middleport. Submitted photo.
Keith R. Day has been arrested for allegedly starting the fire that destroyed several buildings in Middleport. Submitted photo.

MIDDLEPORT – An arrest has been made regarding the May 16, 2016 fire at 175 North Second Avenue.

According to Middleport Police Chief Bruce Swift, the Major Crimes Task Force of Gallia-Meigs was brought in to the investigation following a tip that the fire had been intentionally set. Following several interviews of witnesses, members of the Task Force Agents and Middleport Police Officers took the suspect, Keith R. Day, 31, of Middleport into custody. Day was arrested and charged with aggravated arson, a felony of the first degree.

The Meigs Independent Press had received information that Day was allegedly involved with other fires including two dumpster fires in the village. Chief Swift said Day was considered in those cases, but there were no witnesses or evidence to connect him to any of them.

Chief Swift also said that due to the fire, Frontier phone lines are down. Frontier is calling in additional crews to have lines restored but it would not be before May 18, and could be later in the week for some areas. Phones in Rutland and Middleport have been down since the fire.

Chief Swift advised Middleport residents to call 911 or for non-emergencies (740) 992-6663. They can also contact the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office at (740) 992-3371 until Frontier land lines are restored.

Several state fire marshals were investigating the scene today. North Second Avenue was opened to traffic as well. The sidewalk remains closed along with the alleyway behind the burned buildings.

Crews were on the scene Tuesday continuing to deal with the aftermath of the fire. The fire caused Frontier phone service to be down for customers in Middleport and Rutland. Day allegedly set fire to the back of the Ingels building. Photo by Carrie Gloeckner.
Crews were on the scene Tuesday continuing to deal with the aftermath of the fire. The fire caused Frontier phone service to be down for customers in Middleport and Rutland. Day allegedly set fire to the back of the Ingels building. Photo by Carrie Gloeckner.

Other agencies assisting in the investigation were the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, Pomeroy Police Department, Pomeroy Fire Department, Rutland Fire Department, Syracuse Fire Department, Racine Fire Department, Mason Fire Department, and the New Haven Fire Department. The Middleport Police Department would like to extent our appreciation to all the assisting agencies. Chief Swift stated that due to the hard work of all the fire departments involved, further property damage was prevented in the downtown area.