NAPOLEON — An investigation here continues into a house fire Friday afternoon that killed one man and injured three other persons seriously.
Authorities still have not released the name of the person who died in the fire that was reported around 2 p.m. Friday at 906 Lumbard St., — just west of the downtown and a few blocks north of the Maumee River — or those who were injured.
Napoleon Fire Clayton O’Brien confirmed Monday that the three surviving victims were seriously injured.
The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the fire, but both O’Brien and Napoleon Police Chief David Mack said foul play is not suspected.
O’Brien said Monday that no names have been released “due to the fire remaining under investigation through the state fire marshal’s office.”
The home is owned by Scott J. Keller, according to the Henry County Auditor’s Office real estate search, and was built more than 100 years ago.
The two-story home had a basement and an attic, and was devastated by the fire quickly, O’Brien indicated. When firefighters arrived, he said, the home was fully involved.
“The fire was heavily involved prior to the crews’ arrival,” he explained, noting that fires in similarly built older homes will advance quickly to the attic.
When firefighters arrived, the injured victims had removed themselves from the home, according to O’Brien, and firefighters were informed that one victim was still inside.
Therefore, they took an “offensive” approach, making an “interior attack” and searching the area inside, he indicated, but they were unable to get to the area due to the intense heat.
O’Brien said the fire was brought under control within an hour, while firefighters were successful in preventing major damage to occupied homes just south and north of 906 Lumbard St. A home south of there appeared to have sustained damage to siding and an outside wall.
He called the ability to save both neighboring homes a “victory” for firefighters in a difficult situation.
“It all goes back to training,” O’Brien said.
Napoleon and Ridgeville Township’s fire departments transported the victims to Henry County Hospital and helped battle the fire, but many of Henry County’s first responders assisted in some manner.
The list included Liberty-Washington Township, Malinta-Monroe Township, Florida-Flatrock Township, Holgate-Pleasant Township and McClure-Damascus Township. Assistance also was provided by the Napoleon Police Department, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Napoleon Operations Department, Napoleon Electric Department and Ohio Gas Company.
A press release issued by the Napoleon Fire Department on Friday asked that residents “develop and practice their home fire escape plan. If you do not know where to start please reach out to Napoleon Fire and Rescue at 419-592-0441 extension 1, or visit www.napoleonfire.com/safety/ for home fire safety resources.”