5 Die in Farmhouse Fire in Ohio

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By Sami K. Martin, Christian Post Reporter
November 28, 2012|11:08 am

Five have died in a farmhouse fire in Republic, Ohio. Officials are not certain what caused the fire and killed two adults and three children.

"Five bodies were recovered from the scene," Seneca County public information officer Dean Henry told The Marion Star. "We had responders on the scene six minutes after the call."

The two-story house was completely burnt and claimed the lives of two adults and three children ages 6, 8, and 12. All reportedly attended Seneca East Local Schools. Their identities were still not being released to the public; a coroner will have to confirm them first.

According to Seneca Country records, the home was built in 1880, though the current owner, Joseph D. Hamilton, purchased it in 2004. The wooden home quickly went up in flames due to its age and structure and the challenge of putting out the flames in a rural area.

"We had to draw water from various places like the neighbors' ponds. You won't find a fire hydrant out here," Henry noted. "All the [firefighters] are volunteers and some had been at work before being called out to the fire. We have wonderful people here. They're running on fumes now."

Authorities have not said whether they suspect arson or any foul play, as was the case of a family found dead in their garage. In that case, a 54-year-old woman was suspected of killing her grandchildren, whom she feared losing custody of. Sandy Ford had had custody of her grandchildren for four years.

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Her daughter, Mandy Hayes, was seeking to regain custody, leaving Ford in a panic over losing custody. The family died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning by Hayes' husband. Sandy, 54, died along with her son Andy, 32 and grandchildren Paige, 10; Logan, 6; and Madalyn, 5.

The farmhouse fire has devastated the community of Republic and will certainly be a high priority for investigators.

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