PERRY TOWNSHIP — A woman and her young daughter, whose names have not been released to the public, perished in an early-morning fire Thursday at 4601 McPheron Road, Lima, according to a spokesman for the Ohio Fire Marshal’s office.
The home is located southeast of the Allen County airport.
Brian Bohnart, public information officer for the Ohio Fire Marshal’s office, confirmed the double-fatality late Thursday afternoon but said little other information was known surrounding how the fire started.
“It’s still very early in the investigation. The origin and cause of the fire are undetermined at this point. Two investigators from our office are still on scene, and the incident in still under investigation,” Bohnart said.
Perry Township Chief Justin Roberts issued a press release late Thursday afternoon in which he confirmed the two deaths. The identities of the victims were not made available.
Repeated calls to the office of Allen County Coroner Dr. John Meyer seeking comment went unanswered.
Allen County Sheriff Office dispatchers received a 9-1-1 call shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday from a woman who frantically reported that she and her daughter were upstairs at the residence and were unable to escape the home because of a fire.
“We’ve got a fire upstairs and we’re trapped … we can’t breathe,” the caller said to begin the 14-minute distress call. “We’re breathing out the window. Hurry! Oh my God, it’s getting hot.”
The dispatcher was also advised some four minutes into the call that there were “a bunch of dogs downstairs” in the residence. The fate of those animals is unknown at the present time.
Later in the call the woman’s screams as well those from the younger female can be heard from time to time, but the last four or five minutes of the 9-1-1 call contains mostly silence until sirens are heard in the background.
Roberts said in his statement that firefighters upon their arrival at the scene encountered heavy fire conditions and heavy smoke. Two firefighters were taken for evaluation to Lima Memorial Health System with non-life threatening injuries.
The majority of the damage was at the back of the home, which is owned by Joseph L. and Heather R. Money, according to the Allen County Auditor’s Office website.