AKRON, Ohio (AP) — No smoke detectors were found in an Ohio house where a fire killed two adults and two young girls in Akron, officials said as an investigation continued into what started the deadly blaze.
The early Saturday fire killed a man and a woman and two girls, ages 8 and 9. A 12-year-old girl was rescued and a woman escaped by jumping from an attic window in the three-story house.
Media reports said the girls were the daughters of the couple that died. Cleveland.com reported that the 12-year-old was the deceased woman’s daughter. Authorities haven’t identified the victims.
Neighbors told the Akron Beacon Journal that nearby security cameras showed smoke coming from the house around 12:30 a.m. Saturday, nearly an hour before the fire was reported.
Investigators say the blaze appeared to start on the first floor.
The Rev. Zach Prosser, pastor at Celebration Church that the victims attended, called them “a great family.” A vigil was scheduled at the church Sunday evening.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James announced on Twitter that the girls who died were members of his foundation’s educational program. The program focuses of getting Akron schoolchildren to graduate from high school and go on to college.
“Unbelievably saddened to hear the news. My heart hurts,” the Akron native wrote.
The girls attended Akron City Schools, and the district said counselors would be available this week.
Clarence Tucker, sworn in as Akron’s new fire chief just two days earlier, has said he wants to make sure every home in the city has smoke detectors, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
The fire department has worked with the American Red Cross for several years to provide smoke detectors to people who can’t afford them, fire department spokesman Mike Brooks told the paper.
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