Authorities investigating fire as arson

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Pedro Oliveira Jr.
Friday, October 9, 2009
— Walworth County officials suspect arson in the Sept. 30 blaze that destroyed a Bloomfield Township residence, court documents show.

The early morning fire destroyed the residence at W972 Florence Road, leaving the garage with extensive fire damage and the back portion of the house burned to the ground.

Members of the Walworth County Fire Investigation Task Force determined fire patterns on the garage, where the fire is believed to have started, show signs not typical of normal fire growth, according to court documents.

A neighbor told authorities he was outside and heard crackling and popping noises, according to court documents. The neighbor saw a man walking away from the house. A short time later, the neighbor saw the house engulfed by flames.

The house is owned by Susan Bertaux, who lives in Illinois. Bertaux’s son Louis Bertaux and his wife, Donna Bertaux, lived in the residence but had been evicted days before the fire, according to court documents.

Investigators executed a search warrant at the fire scene and took soil samples, court documents show.

Bloomfield Township Fire Chief Fred Schallow declined to comment because of the pending investigation.

Last updated: 11:46 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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