Fourth body found after house fire in Cleveland

CLEVELAND - Authorities have located a fourth body inside a home that caught fire on Cleveland's east side early Tuesday.

Fire officials previously said two adults and two children were unaccounted for. 

The bodies have been identified as a 46-year-old man, his 3-year-old son, his 8-year-old granddaughter and his 44-year-old nephew.

The fire was first reported at 1 a.m. in the 1600 block of Hillview Road. When firefighters arrived they found fire shooting from the entire home and spreading to a neighboring home. In total, 38 firefighters and eight companies responded, fighting a blaze that was primarily wind-driven. It took firefighters an hour-and-a-half to get the blaze under control, all while working in freezing conditions.

Authorities said there was a smoke detector in the home, and had it been working, lives could have been saved. Firefighters urge the public to make sure they have working smoke detectors in their homes.

Mike Norman, a spokesperson for the Cleveland Fire Department, told News 5 that a 46-year-old woman jumped from the home and was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center where she is stable. 

Norman said that the woman who jumped is the mother of the 3-year-old boy, grandmother of the 8-year-old girl, wife to the 46-year-old man and aunt to the 44-year-old man whose bodies were found in the home.

Fire officials say the husband and wife were sleeping on the second floor of the home when they awoke to the fire. The mother tried to rescue her son, but she was driven back by smoke and escaped the home by jumping out of a second story window.

Bonnye Powell said she was devastated after finding out the house where her nephew lived caught fire. 

Firefighters said the home was so badly damaged that it was nearly impossible to get inside to search for the missing family. They had to pick the structure apart piece by piece and inspect it all until the bodies were found.

The State Fire Marshal also responded to the scene. 

Fire officials haven't determined an official cause and are awaiting the coroner's report.

The following statement is from Councilman Anthony Hairston on the fatal fire in his ward (Ward 10):

"I am deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred early this morning and I share in the sorrow many are feeling. Thoughts and prayers are not nearly enough for the family members that perished in the fire this morning on Hillview Ave., nor will they heal the injuries of the mother who jumped from the burning house and is hospitalized.
 
"Still, I ask my Ward 10 residents to keep the victims and their family in your prayers. And please reach out to the next door neighbor, whose house was badly damaged, but who, thankfully, made it out safely, after fierce winds drove flames onto his house. The Ohio Fire Marshall and Cleveland fire officials are investigating the fatal blaze.
 
 
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Matthew 5:4

 

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