UPDATE: Two die in residential fire near Midland


By Gary Huffenberger - [email protected]



MIDLAND — Two people died in a residential fire early Friday on the 500 block of Hales Branch Road near Midland.

On Friday afternoon, Clinton County Coroner’s Office Investigator Gary Garrison said both victims were adults, a male and a female.

Coroner’s office staff are “pretty sure” they know who the victims are, he said, but positive identification may not come until early next week.

The blaze was reported to emergency personnel about 12:45 a.m. Friday, said Jefferson Township Fire Department Assistant Chief Sandra Wisby.

“We found [upon arrival] the structure had already collapsed to the ground, and was fully involved. At that point, we just did a defensive attack,” the assistant chief said.

The residence is described by Wisby as a single-wide mobile home.

Once the flames were extinguished, firefighters went in and the two victims were found inside the structure, according to Wisby.

The county coroner was called to the site, and the scene was turned over to the state fire marshal, said Wisby.

The Division of the State Fire Marshal had not determined the cause of the fire as of mid-afternoon Friday, according to Bill Krugh, public information officer with the Division of the State Fire Marshal.

The investigation is ongoing, Krugh said.

Wisby said her understanding is that a neighbor reported the fatal fire.

“My deepest sympathy goes out to their loved ones. It’s hard on firefighters, too. Whenever it’s a death scene, it’s a very difficult situation for everyone involved,” said Wisby.

About 25 to 30 firefighters responded from three area departments: Jefferson Township Fire Department, Blanchester Marion Township Fire District and the Fayetteville Fire Department. There were no reported injuries to firefighters.

The fire scene, about three miles from the village of Midland, was cleared of emergency personnel a little after 7 a.m. Friday, said Wisby.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.

By Gary Huffenberger

[email protected]