Cause of Brunswick fire that killed kid released

Posted at 5:24 PM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-16 17:24:41-04

The office of the Ohio State Fire Marshal reported the cause of the fire in Brunswick at Hickory Hill Apartments on Beverly Hills Drive, which resulted in the death of a 4-year-old girl, was deemed undetermined. 

The fire department told the 4-year-old girl was found dead inside a bedroom in the burned apartment.

Details about the fire were shared with officials by a tenant who lived in the building. The tenant said she was cooking in the kitchen when her boyfriend mentioned that he smelled smoke. Her boyfriend then opened the curtains to the sliding glass door leading to the balcony at which time she observed the balcony completely engulfed in fire.

The tenant described the flames as coming up through the bottom of the deck and extending to the top of the patio door. She then left the apartment through the main door leading to the main hallway of the apartment building. She told authorities she did not see any fire in the hallway or on any of the steps leading to the front of the apartment building.

Officials said the tenant described conditions in the hallway as a “little smoky.” After exiting the building she observed fire at the back of a unit from the ground floor patio area extending upward to her third floor deck. She said that the fire had not yet gotten into the roof area.

Assistant Fire Chief Rick Barber said the apartment had working smoke detectors but no sprinkler system.

“The sprinklers are a perfect example of how we could have prevented a tragedy from happening,” Barber told

Units from 10 area fire departments and EMS agencies worked to contain the fire and brought it under control.

Officials said six other people were transported to various hospitals for smoke inhalation, and cuts and bruises. One man, who was in the apartment at the time of the fire, jumped from a third floor balcony to escape and was injured. A firefighter was also treated for minor injuries after a portion of a ceiling collapsed.

According to authorities, a total of 24 apartments were affected by the fire. The fire impacted two buildings that were connected, with 12 apartments in each building. The fire destroyed 12 apartment units.

More than 50 people -- and a total of 24 families -- were displaced due to the fire.