1 dead, 12 escape deadly fire in Sidney

SIDNEY, Ohio (WDTN) — The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating after flames claim a man’s life.

Crews were called to the 300 block of North Walnut Avenue Sunday after 4 a.m.

When firefighters arrived, they found fire and smoke shooting from a two-story duplex.

“My son woke me up at 4 o’clock and said there was a great big bang he told me there the house was on fire,” described Cindy Chamberlain.

Firefighters had to rescue two people from the second floor. Before crews even arrived, Sidney Police officers also had to rescue several children by catching them as they were dropped from the second story window by adults.

According to officials, 12 of the 13 people inside were able to escape the flames.

“I’m– I feel sad and this is just crazy.Christmas and kids and they have no where to go and you know, they lost everything. It’s just– it’s sad you know,” said Timothy Wealbaum, a nephew of a resident who survived the flames.

When crews searched the building after bringing the flames under control, they discovered the body of a man in an upstairs bedroom.

An autopsy will be performed on the victim. His name has not yet been released.

Residents expressed their concerns to 2 NEWS that the age of the neighborhood structures are cause for concerns.

“It makes me nervous because a lot of these houses are old. You just never know with these older houses,” Chamberlain explained. “And stuff like that. We had — last year, we had a fire in the basement in the fuse box, which wasn’t that bad thank God, and nothing like this–like that happened over here. “

Port Jefferson, Houston, Fort Loramie, Anna and Piqua fire departments provided mutual aid and assisted in transporting victims to Wilson Memorial Hospital.

The Red Cross is stepping in to help those displaced.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

However, family members say, “The only thing I know is that something with the furnace and there was a guy in the back room and he had passed away,” said Wealbaum.

The building is a total loss and damage is estimated at about $140,000.

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