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Firestone mansion arson suspect pleads guilty

Posted at 2:04 PM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 14:06:03-04

A 19-year-old man who was arrested after he allegedly set fire to a historic mansion in Fairlawn this past winter has pleaded guilty to arson.

Donavin Gowin was arrested by authorities in January following a massive blaze at the Cornus HIll Firestone Mansion.

RELATED: Suspect in custody for starting massive Firestone mansion fire in Fairlawn

The 10,000 square foot residence was built in 1935 and was once home to Russell Firestone, the second son of Harvey Firestone and founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. The building has 31 rooms and is surrounded by 13 acres of land.

About a third of the structure was damaged by flames and the rest suffered heavy smoke damage, authorities said.

RELATED: City officials plan to demolish historic Firestone mansion in Fairlawn after fire

When firefighters responded around 9 p.m. on Jan. 13, they found flames shooting through the roof of the north end of the building. Several departments provided mutual aid. It took several hours to get the fire contained and firefighters returned the next day to douse hot spots.

Fire investigators later ruled the fire arson. Gowin was taken into custody about a week later.

Gowin is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 13 for sentencing.