Home security video could offer clues as to how fatal Akron house fire began

A family of four died
Posted at 5:15 AM, Dec 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-03 22:43:12-05

Akron fire investigators are now reviewing home surveillance footage that shows the moments a house fire broke out that killed a family of four, including two young children.

The fire broke out around 1:30 a.m. Saturday on E. Tallmadge Ave. A neighbor's security camera captured the fire from across the street. The video appears to show the flames starting from the back of the home, which a neighbor told News 5 is the location of the kitchen. The video showed firefighters arriving around 1:37.

A surviving woman was able to jump from the second floor. She was injured but is expected to survive. A 12-year-old girl is in critical condition at a local hospital.

Mark Williamson, an Akron Public Schools official, confirmed the two girls who died in the fire are students at local elementary schools. The 8-year-old was a third grader at Seiberling Elementary. The 9-year-old was a fourth grader at Forest Hills Elementary.

Williamson said counseling will be available to students in the districts who are affected by the deaths of the girls.The 12-year-old who survived the blaze, but is currently in critical condition, is a student at Hyre Middle School.

"My family, the Akron Fire Department, and the entire Akron community, are profoundly saddened by this devasting incident," Akron Mayor Dan Hoorigan said in a statement. "Any time our community experiences such a loss as this, it reminds us how precious life is. My deepest sympathies and prayers are with the family members who lost their lives ... We will see to it that the victims' families and the survivors are supported in this time of great sorrow and need."

When the Akron Fire Department responded, they found several people were trapped and there were flames coming from both sides of the house.

The fire department said they were able to rescue five of the six peple trapped in the house within the first few minutes of their arrival. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but officials said smoke detectors were not found in the home. 

Four were killed in the blaze, including the two children. Two others remain hospitalized; their condition is unknown. The department said a firefighter was also hospitalized for minor injuries, but has since been released. 

Cleveland Cavaliers forward, and Akron native, LeBron James took to Twitter to announce that the two girls killed in the fire were members of the LeBron James Family Foundation's Wheels for Education program. 

Firefighters pulled all of the victims, except the girl who jumped, from second-floor bedroom windows. 

One person was pronounced dead at the scene. The three others were taken to local hospitals where they were later pronounced dead. 

Investigators are looking into a cause of the fire, but fire officials said there was food in the oven and a pan on the stove.