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20-year-old woman dies in Akron apartment fire Tuesday night

Cooking fire suspected in tragedy
Posted at 9:52 PM, Jan 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-01 19:17:46-05

Authorities are investigating a fatal fire that happened in downtown Akron Tuesday evening.

According to the Akron Fire Department, it happened just before 6 p.m. at an apartment building in Channelwood Village in the 700 block of Fleming Drive near West Thornton Street.

The apartment building was fully engulfed by flames when crews arrived, authorities said. The fire was knocked down and brought under control in a matter of minutes.

Authorities said 20-year-old Arika Rogers was found unresponsive in her third-floor apartment and was pronounced dead at the scene. The Medical Examiner said an examination performed Wednesday confirmed her cause of death was smoke inhalation and thermal injuries.

According to Lt. Tim Morrison, two other people inside the building were injured and taken to a hospital. Another person went to a hospital after falling on ice.

Morrison didn't know the extent of those injuries, but said the loss of life from the fire was felt by everyone involved.

"It's terrible for everyone, the neighbors, friends, family, even the firefighters. It's tough on everybody," Morrison said.

Alpha Phi Alpha Homes Inc. owns the complex. Executive Director Dr. Albert A. Bragg Jr. said six families had to find other housing because of the fire and the Red Cross is offering assistance.

Bragg, who was an Akron firefighter for more than 20 years, said he was told by investigators that a cooking fire in a kitchen led to the tragedy.

Bragg pointed out that cooking mishaps are the number one cause of fires in the U.S.

"Some people think you can leave a pan on the stove. You cannot. You just don't know what can happen, so keep your stove free and clear of anything that can burn when you're not using it, and when you are using it, stay there. Make sure you keep looking at your cooking," he said.

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