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Body found in debris hauled from Cleveland building set on fire twice days before planned demolition

Former transitional housing at Irishtown Bend demolished to stabilize hill for public park project
Posted at 2:48 PM, Mar 28, 2023

CLEVELAND — The body of an unidentified female was discovered in debris that was transported to a site in Valley View from a vacant building in Cleveland that once served as transitional housing and was intentionally set on fire twice, police believe, days before it was set to be demolished.

At about 2:25 p.m. Monday, officers responded to an excavation company in the 11300 block of Rockside Road in Valley View for a body discovered in debris that was transported from a building in the 1500 block of West 25th Street in Cleveland, according to a news release from Cleveland Police.

On arrival, officers conferred with excavating crew members, who said they had made several dump trips to the Valley View site from the demolished building in the 1500 block of West 25th Street.

The building, located on a hilltop at Irishtown Bend in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, was demolished last week, and the excavating company was collecting debris, police said. Upon arriving at the dump, the victim’s arm was seen in the debris.

The remains were taken by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office for further investigation and identification, police said.

On March 20, days before the building was slated for demolition, there were two separate fires at the building that police believe were intentionally set.

The Cleveland Fire Arson Unit is investigating the fires; it is unknown if the fires are connected to the body found. The matter remains under investigation, police said.

The demolished building once housed Front Steps Housing and Services, a transitional housing center, but has been vacant since April 2022 after being acquired by Ohio City Inc. in 2021.

The building’s demolition was to serve as a major visible step forward for future plans to stabilize the entire hillside and, later, the construction of a 23-acre public park.

Watch our report from last week on the alleged arson fires, the building's planned demolition and future plans for the area:

Vacant building set for demolition for Irishtown Bend project set on fire

RELATED: Vacant building set for demolition for Irishtown Bend project set on fire Monday night

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