18-year-old man in wheelchair killed in Medina apartment fire

Posted at 5:45 AM, Feb 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-09 22:39:37-05

An 18-year-old man was killed in an early morning apartment fire in Medina.

Emergency crews were called to the Medina Village Apartments at Springbrook Drive around 3:15 a.m. Thursday for a report of an explosion.

An 18-year-old, who had special needs and was confined to a wheelchair, was pronounced dead at the scene.

His parents were badly burned. They were taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in critical condition.

The Medina fire chief originally told News 5 the mother had died at the hospital. However, at 11:30 a.m. a MetroHealth Medical Center spokesperson said the woman was still listed in critical condition.  

The apartment building was destroyed. About 20 residents are now displaced.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal responded to the scene to investigate. 

Gas crews are trying to figure out what could have caused the fire. The Medina Fire Departments said it hasn't responded to any gas leaks or calls at this complex in at least a year. A few weeks ago, crews performed some work on water lines and the city said the building inspection showed no further problems.

According to the American Red Cross, eight families were displaced by the fire, affecting 18 people. They're providing food, clothing, shelter and financial assistance. 

Residents Hannah Morabito,17, and her mother Lori Morabito,53, are among the residents affected by the fire.The mother was trapped under a wall and cinder blocks that collapsed. Hannah had to pull her mother out of the rubble. 

Columbia Gas issued a statement Thursday afternoon:

Our crews conducted a thorough investigation of our natural gas main and service lines that serve the area and confirmed that they are safe. While the cause of the incident is not known at this time, based on our investigation, our natural gas main lines and service lines were not the source of this incident.

Read the full statement below.

Columbia Gas Statement on Medina 

The Medina United Church of Christ is taking donations from February 10 through February 24 for victims of the fire and the Red Cross is assisting 18 people from 8 families.