Delaware police on Dec. 22 made an arrest in the July 25 Delaware Hotel arson fire.

Delaware police on Dec. 22 made an arrest in the July 25 Delaware Hotel arson fire.

Brian Cox, 18, Delaware, was charged with two counts of aggravated arson, police said. One is a first-degree felony and one is a second-degree felony, according to the county prosecutor's office.

On Jan. 12, Cox will appear in juvenile court because he was a juvenile at the time of the fire. The hearing will determine if he can be tried as an adult, said Traci Whittaker, spokesperson for county prosecutor Dave Yost.

On July 25, fire crews arrived at the hotel at 351 S. Sandusky St., after reports of heavy black smoke coming from the structure's west side.
The three-alarm fire caused an estimated $900,000 damage. One firefighter was injured.

An investigation focused on the heavily damaged bar and reception area, Delaware fire chief John Donahue said. The hotel, opened in 1974, had been vacant since September 2008, with all the utilities disconnected.

The city is attempting to buy the building and adjoining land for residential redevelopment.

Donahue said the investigation involve the city police and fire departments, the Division of State Fire Marshal, Delaware County Juvenile Probation, the county sheriff's office, an Ohio State Highway Patrol Aviation unit, the county prosecutor's office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

"Had it not been for everyone working and communicating together, this investigation would have been more difficult," he said. "The combined effort and access to resources shows the commitment of local, state and federal agencies working together in the best interest of public safety."

Donahue also thanked the public for providing photos of events held at the hotel and banquet area, which he said helped investigators determine the fire's timeline.