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Dayton Fire: Finding cause of deadly blaze doubtful

In Dayton–fire officials continue investigating a massive West Dayton house fire where the bodies of five people were found. According to Dayton City officials, 508 North Broadway is owned by a LLC in Las Vegas. Although it was vacant — it was not a nuisance property nor did it have code violations.

On the morning of March 8, flames engulfed the 7-thousand square foot, two-story structure as well as a neighboring house. During a March 9 press conference, Dayton Fire Chief Jeff Lykins described the blaze as extremely dangerous.
“The firefighters who made entry finally had to pull back because their helmets were melting. When we pulled up, there was fire blowing out of the majority of the windows, really non survivable conditions,” the fire chief said. “Nonetheless, crews went in to extinguish the fire and do a primary search and were driven back also due to the collapse.”

One firefighter suffered a minor injury while battling the fire. Medics on the scene evaluated
their injury.

Dayton City Councilwoman Shenise Turner-Sloss believes it would have benefited the firefighters if Station 10 were in operation. It's at 1234 South Boulevard. "That could have been an additional support, providing an additional engine to help take control of the fire," says Tuner-Sloss. "I believe this warrants us having Station 10 in play because people's lives are at stake."

At this time, the Montgomery Coroner has not released the identities of the five bodies found. Neighbors tell police they frequently saw homeless people going in and out of the vacant home.

Meanwhile Chief Lykins says figuring out what caused the blaze will be difficult.

“Due to the extent of the damage and the fact the building had to be deconstructed to get to the victims, investigators were unable to get inside the structure to look for pour patterns or burn patterns and so we may never know the actual cause of the fire,” Lykins explained.

Crews are demolishing both homes. The fire also heavily damaged a third house.

Kathryn Mobley is an award-winning broadcast journalist, crafting stories for more than 30 years. She’s reported and produced for TV, NPR affiliate and for the web. Mobley also contributes to several area community groups. She sings tenor with World House Choir (Yellow Springs), she’s a board member of the Beavercreek Community Theatre and volunteers with two community television operations, DATV (Dayton) and MVCC (Centerville).

Email: kmobley@wyso.org
Cell phone: (937) 952-9924