AKRON--Two nearby houses could hold clues as investigators try to pinpoint what caused a fire that killed an Akron family of seven. Thursday, investigators searched two houses within a block of the burned-out home.
A Fox 8 camera was rolling as investigators removed evidence from two homes on Hillcrest Street in Akron. They are about a block away from the house on Fultz Street that was destroyed by fire early Monday morning. Dennis Huggins, 35, and Angela Boggs, 38, died in the fire, along with five children.
"Envision the seven lives that were lost here, seven lives," said Akron resident, Ernest Foster.
"I'm itching to find out who did it -- if it was intentional, if somebody caught that house on fire," said neighbor, Paul Clegg.
Thursday, investigators with the state fire marshal's office, Akron Fire Department and Akron police could be seen confiscating computers, two gasoline cans, some clothing and other items from the homes. One man was briefly detained by police, but was released.
Paul Clegg lives next door to the house that burned.
"I was pretty shocked when I found that they were searching his home; I just don't think that he had anything to do with it," he said.
Thursday evening, residents of Akron's ward five gathered to receive free smoke detectors and batteries, donated with the help of local businesses and organizations. Although the deadly fire happened in a different part of town, Councilwoman Tara Mosley-Samples says she felt the need to hand them out.
"It's a community issue and we need to make sure a lot of our community members are safe. It doesn't matter where the fire happened at; this is something we need to take care of for all of our residents who don't have working smoke detectors or don't have them at all," said the councilwoman.
"I have one in the house, but I don't have anymore, but I have my grand kids there, but after that thing with the kids dying, the whole family, that got me scared," said Akron resident, Ollie Brown.
"I would not have come here," responded resident, Beverly Burton, when asked whether she would have attended the meeting if the fire had not happened.
In addition to smoke detectors, the fire department also reminded residents about the importance of carbon monoxide detectors and homeowner's and renter's insurance.
Investigators say they are not ruling out anything as a cause of Monday's fire.