Athens County, Ohio – November 27, 2023
In a devastating incident that unfolded early on Thanksgiving Day, five individuals lost their lives as a fire engulfed mobile homes in Athens County, Ohio. The tragedy occurred around 7:30 a.m., marking a somber start to the holiday for the local community.
According to Richland Area Fire Chief Dale Sinclair, the fire was reported with information indicating that people might be trapped in two neighboring residences. First responders rushed to the scene, but the intensity of the flames consumed the structures, causing at least one roof to collapse.
After successfully controlling the blaze, officials discovered the bodies of five victims. Brandon Klein, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Commerce, stated that details regarding the identities of the deceased, the cause of death, and any potential connections between them were not immediately available.
Amidst the tragedy, one person managed to escape the fire but sustained injuries. The individual, whose identity remains undisclosed, was promptly transported to a hospital. At present, information regarding their condition is not accessible.
An investigation is in progress, with the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office working in conjunction with the Athens County Sheriff’s Office and the coroner’s office to establish the origin of the fire. Brandon Klein mentioned that additional details about the tragic event are expected to be released on Monday.
Despite efforts to gather more information, the Athens County coroner has not yet responded to inquiries, including requests for the victims’ identities.
The emergency response involved multiple fire departments from communities such as Albany and York Township, underscoring the collaborative efforts to address the unfortunate incident.
As the community grapples with this heart-wrenching loss, the investigation into the Thanksgiving Day fire aims to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the tragedy, providing closure and understanding to the affected families and the broader community.