On Tuesday, August 9 at 4:51 a.m. Green Fire Department responded to a call of a structural fire at Boettler Park, 5300 Massillon Road. The historic Litchenwalter Schoolhouse, a restored 1885 schoolhouse at the park, was fully engulfed in flames upon their arrival. Jackson Township and Greentown Fire provided mutual aid.
By 10 a.m. , Ohio State Fire Marshall’s office ruled the fire as arson. In addition to the fire, there was vandalism throughout Boettler Park including breaking and entering at a restroom facility and vandalism at the Heritage Hill Playground. There was also vandalism and breaking and entering at a concession facility at another City of Green Park, Ariss Park, located at 2520 Wise Road.
“We are saddened by this senseless act of vandalism to a piece of our City’s history,” said Mayor Gerard Neugebauer.
A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered by the Ohio Blue Ribbon Arson Committee for any tips leading to an arrest. Anyone with information regarding the vandalism at either park or the fire is asked to call the Summit County Sheriff’s Department at 330-643-2181 or Green Fire investigations at 330-896-1811.
Boettler Park remained closed for the day and reopened at 8 a.m. on August 10.
General Background info on the Licthenwalter Schoolhouse.