Probe into fatal area fire continues

BRIDGEPORT – The Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office will wait to review a coroner’s report before releasing further information on a fire that claimed the lives of three children Sunday.

The office confirmed the deaths of the children, ages 2, 4 and 5, as well as the hospitalization of their parents. Witnesses reported seeing a man running from the building along with a woman, whose hands appeared to have been badly burned. There was no indication as to whether these individuals were the parents of the children.

According to Michael Duchesne, public information officer for the Division of State Fire Marshal, representatives from the fire marshal’s office, as well as the Bridgeport fire and police departments, are actively investigating the cause of the fire. He added investigators still were on scene Monday evening and had not provided any updates.

Duchesne also said no further information was expected to be released until the coroner’s report was completed and reviewed. He said he was unsure whether that information would be available today.

The fire at the building located at 3115 Main St. was reported at 10:45 a.m. Sunday and took more than six hours for crews to extinguish. It resulted in the loss of the building. In addition to four apartments, the building housed an appliance repair shop. Fire crews from several neighboring communities assisted in fighting the fire, though they faced an added challenge as a 10-inch water line broke at roughly the same time as the fire was reported.

On Monday, Bridgeport Mayor John Callarick said the building where the fire started likely would have to be torn down by its owner. He believes just the corner of the municipal building’s roof was burned, and said a fire wall between the two buildings helped to keep the fire from spreading to the municipal building.