- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) - Fire officials were investigating a suspicious early morning home fire Tuesday, hours after an earlier disturbance in southwest Ohio.

One firefighter who responded to the blaze in Middletown at about 1:15 a.m. was treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports (http://bit.ly/1qyYqF7 ) that authorities say there had been a disturbance at the home Monday. The home was engulfed by the time firefighters arrived, and crews went inside because they believed that a mother and two children were there.

“We had a lot of fire, and we were told three people were inside,” said Paul Lolli, Middletown deputy fire chief. “You have to decide if you’re going to make an interior attack, and we did.”

He said crews “risk a lot to save a lot.”

Once they learned there was no one in the home, they focused on extinguishing the fire that caused heavy damage. The fire is believed to have started in a back bedroom.

Neighbors said the woman has had ongoing problems with juveniles in the neighborhood.

“Earlier in the evening, there had been a domestic issue involving the occupant,” Middletown Fire Marshal Bob Hess said. “She was instructed to leave by the police department for her safety.”

A Middletown police spokesman didn’t immediately return a call for more information Tuesday.

A spokesman for the state fire marshal’s office said Tuesday it hadn’t been called to join the investigation.

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Information from: Journal-News , http://www.journal-news.com