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9-year-old girl, mom die in Geauga County house fire

Fire chief says home did not have working smoke detectors
Posted at 6:16 AM, Sep 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-09 18:10:13-04

GEAUGA COUNTY, Ohio  — A family is devastated after a mother and her 9-year-old daughter died Thursday morning in a house fire on Taylor Wells Road in Geauga County.

The fire happened around 2:30 a.m. Hambden Fire Chief Scott Hildenbrand told News 5 the mother woke up and smelled the smoke. The father went to see where it was coming from and burned his head in the process.

Scott said the 9-year-old girl came out of her bedroom after hearing the screaming and ran into the parents' bedroom. The father pushed a window open. It is unknown which window. He then pushed the 7-year-old son out the window, and jumped out waiting for his wife to come out, but authorities say she collapsed. He tried to go back in, but the smoke was just too heavy at that point.

The father and son then ran to a neighbor's house to call 911. The chief says the fire department arrived on scene seven minutes later where they found smoke coming out of every window of the house. They immediately went in the home to find the daughter and mother.

“He told us the room she was in, because the smoke was so heavy, the visibility was zero. We finally got her out and found the daughter,” said Scott.

The 9-year-old daughter and 38-year-old mother were taken to the hospital, where they later died.

Firefighters from all over Lake and Geauga counties were called to the scene.

The chief later learned that there were no fire alarms in the house. He said this is a perfect example of why you need working smoke detectors.

"Everybody should check their house and make sure they have smoke detectors and they work. And if you live in Hambden and you don't have them, we'll give them to you if you come to the fire station," he said.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

The fire is being investigated by the Geauga County Fire investigation Unit and the Ohio State Fire Marshall’s Office.

For further details on how to support the family, click here.