Akron residents scared after suspected arsonist hits two homes in 24 hours

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AKRON, Ohio -- Crews fought two house fires within 24 hours of each other on Chittenden Street in Akron.

Akron resident Ronald Waddy watched his neighbor's house become engulfed in flames Friday night. Then Saturday night he watched another house burn down on Chittenden Street.

That house fire was right next door to the house that caught fire the night before.

"This is scary stuff. I don't feel too safe around here right now," Waddy said.

Amanda Werner and John Straubs lived in the house that caught fire Friday.

They said they escaped with their lives when they ran from the flames.

When they came back to try to salvage some of their belongings Sunday, they saw their neighbor's house had also burned down and were in disbelief.

They're also stunned to learn fire investigators suspect both house fires were set by an arsonist.

"Utter shock. I still don't know how to place that," Werner said.

"I'm still in shock. Freaking out, because the house I was in is gone and I'm sitting here feeling sorry for myself and then I find out the neighbors are going through the same thing. Luckily it happened when they weren't home, they were at a wedding," Straubs said.

Franita Cooper lives next door to the two houses that were gutted by the fires. Her nerves are rattled.

"We're afraid. We are really scared. We don't know what's going on. But we are scared and we're asking everybody to keep us in their prayers so we're not next on this block. I won't be able to sleep tonight," Cooper said.

Waddy is also on edge with the suspected arson and other recent crimes.

He told Fox 8 he's thinking about moving.

"I'm about ready to move back to Cuyahoga Falls, because I have to worry about my children. It's very scary," Waddy said.

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