CINCINNATI (AP) – A trailer home in southeastern Ohio burned and collapsed early Tuesday, killing a 10-month-old boy, his parents and maternal grandparents, state and county officials said.
Neighbors who called 911 reported hearing an explosion near Sugar Grove just after 4 a.m.
“Oh my God! … The trailer across the road just blew up,” reported the first caller, whose name wasn’t included in an audio recording released by the Fairfield County sheriff’s office. “I’m going to say they’re probably all there. Oh my Lord!”
Sheriff Dave Phalen said four bodies, including the baby’s, were found Tuesday morning, and authorities recovered the fifth body several hours later. Two people were rescued and sent to hospitals.
Phalen said reports of an explosion were still being investigated and the cause of the fire was unknown.
“It’s completely gutted,” Phalen said of the home. “There are partial walls that are up, but the inside is completely gone.”
The dead were identified as Thomas B. Taylor, 54; Pamela Jean Taylor, 43; Patricia MJ Taylor and Dylan Vanord, both 22, and their 10-month-old son Cody Vanord, the sheriff said.
One woman who appeared to be badly burned, Phalen said, was identified later as 62-year-old Georganna Jennings. Phalen said one of his sergeants found Jennings outside the trailer. He put his coat around her and put her in his cruiser until an ambulance arrived, the sheriff said. It wasn’t clear if the survivors were related to the people who died.
Don W. Asbell, 63, was treated at a hospital and released.
Firefighters responding from seven departments were hindered by overnight snowfall on hilly two-lane roads, Phalen said.
“This is a rural area,” he said. “So it did take some time.”
The fire was the third multiple-death home fire in Ohio in less than four weeks. Three children were killed in a Dec. 12 house fire in Hamilton in southwest Ohio, and a woman and three grandchildren were killed Dec. 26 in a fire near Washington Court House, about 40 miles southwest of Columbus.