Man indicted on murder, arson charges in fatal Westwood fire

Man indicted on murder, arson charges in fatal Westwood fire
Jamal Rashid (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A man has been indicted on murder and several arson charges in a fatal Westwood apartment fire at the end of last year, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said.

Jamal Rashid was indicted on two counts of murder, five counts of arson and two counts of felonious assault.

The fire at 3205 Gobel Ave. broke out around 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 19, 2019.

Officials said they were able to rescue one person from the first floor where the fire was located, while three people on the second floor jumped to safety. Two fire companies were able to knock down the blaze in around 20 minutes.

A firefighter and two others sustained minor injuries in the blaze.

The man rescued from the first floor died six days afterward. The coroner’s office identified him as Charles Eason, 64, of Avondale.

Deters said the fire was intentionally set near the entrance to the apartment building directly in front of and on the only stairway to the second floor.

The Cincinnati Fire Department and Cincinnati Police Department investigated and determined that gasoline was present at the scene of the fire.

According to Deters, Rashid was a resident of the apartment building.

“Thank you to the Cincinnati Police and Fire Department heroes who respond to these chaotic scenes and do the lifesaving work that they do. Sadly, two people were injured in this fire and one person died. The man who died suffered for 6 days in the hospital with serious burns and smoke inhalation before succumbing to his injuries," Deters said. "Fortunately, the investigation led to today’s indictment and arrest of the defendant. People who set fires are dangerous and need to be off the streets for the protection of the community.”

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