LIMA — The two children hospitalized after a Monday house fire are both improving and have estimated release dates, their father said Wednesday morning.
Landyn Douglas, 6, is stable and recovering at Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati, said Darr Robinson, the children’s father. He was flown by jet Tuesday from Mercy Health-St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo to Shriners Hospital.
Douglas suffered serious burns in the fire that began shortly before 5 a.m. Monday at 625 W. Elm St. in Lima. He also suffered from smoke inhalation in the blaze. He was listed in critical condition at the Cincinnati hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
Another occupant of the Lima residence, 2-year-old Layne Robinson, also suffered serious burns in Monday’s fire and remained a patient at the Toledo hospital, Robinson said.
The Monday house fire that saw the rescue of seven children who were left unsupervised in the early morning hours was the second such incident in just over a year involving the same family and children.
Last year, on Dec. 6, Lima firefighters were dispatched to 731 N. Main Street in reference to an early-morning residential fire. Six children that day were alone in the home at 3:40 a.m. while their parents were delivering newspapers, a fire department spokesman said following the 2017 incident. All six children escaped that blaze unharmed.
Jenny Knippen, program administrator with of Allen County Children Services agency, said Monday’s fire that injured the two Lima boys was “obviously a very unfortunate situation that the family is having to deal with,” but said she could not otherwise discuss actions the agency might be considering.
“When we have concerns about abuse and neglect (of children), or concerns about their supervision we have a responsibility to look into those,” Knippen said Tuesday.
She said the fact that the family involved in Monday’s fire had experienced a similar situation in which children were left without adult supervision “is something we will have to look into.”
But Knippen also pointed out that Ohio law does not define at what age a parent or guardian may legally leave their child alone. She said agency investigations into those types of incidents take into consideration the age of the child, their level of responsibility, the time of day and the length of time children are left without adult supervision.
Agency staffers are not permitted to discuss specific investigations, she said.
When Lima firefighters arrived on the scene Monday the first floor of the home was engulfed in flames, with two children trapped on the roof of the structure and one child unaccounted for. Lima police officers assisted firemen in removing the two youths from the roof that was close to collapsing, while firefighters went inside the home and located the missing child, according to Greg Kirkendall, battalion chief with the fire department.
Investigators believe the fire started on the first floor of the residence when an electric heater ignited items that were piled next to it.
Douglas and Robinson were transported to Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center on Monday morning and were then reportedly transported via LifeFlight helicopter to the hospital in Toledo.
Five other young children who were in the home at the time of the fire suffered either minor injuries or were not injured at all. No adult was at home at the time of the blaze, with a 14-year-old being the oldest occupant of the structure, according to a fire department spokesman.
Sgt. Jason Garlock of the Lima Police Department said Tuesday that detectives have started looking into Monday’s incident.
Damage to the home, owned by Susanne King, was estimated at $30,000. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.