5 die in house fire on SR 18

PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE Smoke billows from the house at 10331 W. SR 18 Thursday.

FOSTORIA — The bodies of five people were recovered from a Loudon Township house after it burned Thursday.

About 3:45 a.m., Seneca County Sheriff’s Office received a call about the fire at 10331 W. SR 18. Bascom Joint Fire District arrived in 10 to 15 minutes, and a call was placed for an external attack only, said Dean Henry, Seneca County’s public information officer.

Chief Mark DeVault of Bascom Joint Fire District was the first firefighter at the scene. He said there was a lot of fire and smoke coming out the back of the house when he arrived.

There never was an interior attack because of the state of the fire and building at the time, he said.

DeVault said the building was compromised and heavily damaged.

The cause and origin were under investigation Thursday.

Henry said it was believed there were five people — three adults and two children — living in the home. Their identities were not released Thursday.

The property is owned by Robert Rainey, according to the Seneca County Auditor’s Office website.

Two dogs were found dead in the fire, according to State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Personnel from Bascom Joint Fire District, Fostoria Fire Division, NBS Joint Fire District, Kansas Volunteer Fire Department, Bloom Township Fire Department, Old Fort Volunteer Fire Department, Attica-Venice-Reed Fire District, Bascom EMS, Seneca County’s Echo unit, Seneca County Emergency Management, Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, Seneca County Coroner’s Office, Seneca County Community Emergency Response Team, State Fire Marshal’s Office, Hopewell and Loudon townships, American Red Cross and North Central Electric Cooperative assisted.

Ohio Department of Transportation assisted with traffic control.

Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Crime Scene Unit provided technical assistance.

A crew was using a Faro three-dimensional imaging device, which allows for detailed pictures, Henry said.

“This is not a crime scene. BCI is here to render technical assistance to the State Fire Marshal’s Office,” he said.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources provided a cadaver dog.

State Fire Marshal’s Office provided Connor, a dog trained to find an accelerant.

“(It) helps them determine cause and origin,” Henry said.

Crews had left the scene by about 5:15 p.m., and DeVault said the scene was turned over to Seneca County Sheriff’s Office for security.

The crew is to return to the scene this morning.

Anyone who witnessed the fire can provide information to State Fire Marshal’s Office by calling (800) 589-2728.