House Fire, Crowd Problems Mar Ohio University Street Party

May 1, 2012

Authorities say no one was injured in a house fire that cut short an annual street party near the Ohio University campus in southeast Ohio.

It wasn’t clear what started the fire around 7 p.m. Saturday, abruptly ending an event that often stretches into the early morning hours.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze as police cleared the street. Media outlets report Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl declared a riot, and police with extra protective gear forced the crowd away from the scene.

The city’s deputy service-safety director tells radio station WOUB people in the crowd had thrown bottles at emergency responders. Police made about 20 arrests during the event.

It came a week after police in riot gear dispersed crowds near Kent State University to break up a street party.

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