Students hurt in UC fire still critical


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Students hurt in UC fire still critical

The New Year’s Day fire that critically injured two University of Cincinnati students, both from the Dayton area, started in the house where one of them lives with six friends.

Chad Kohls’ mother Anne said Friday that her son, who is a marketing major, lived in the three-story house at 2824 Digby Avenue.

Kohls, 21, and Ellen Garner, 20, remained in critical condition Friday at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, according to Cincinnati Fire Investigation Unit Capt. Dan Rottmueller.

Kohls is a 2009 graduate of Centerville High School. Garner is a 2010 graduate of Tippecanoe High School. She does not live at the house.

Kohls wants to work in advertising and has been doing an internship with the Cincinnati Bengals, his mother said. She also said he loves everything about the outdoors, including fishing, hunting and camping.

Cincinnati dispatchers received an emergency call at 6:50 a.m. Tuesday on the report of a fire on the house’s second floor, with reports that there were people trapped on the third floor, according to fire officials.

“An aggressive interior attack quickly brought the fire under control in less than 10 minutes and confined the fire to one room,” District One Fire Chief Gregory A. Potter said in a statement on the department’s website.

Ten people were in the house at the time of the blaze, and all were believed to have been asleep when the fire occurred, Rottmueller said. Some of the people inside were residents and some were friends of the residents.

Six were able to escape before firefighters arrived. Four were rescued, including two in the basement and Garner and Kohls, who were on the third floor, Rottmueller said.

One of the basement victims was treated and released at an area hospital, Rottmueller said.

The fire, ruled accidental, was caused by a space heater placed too close to bedding, Rottmueller said.

Garner majors in design. Family friend Kate Johnsen, whose daughter graduated with Garner, said Thursday that Garner was into costuming when she was in high school, making costumes for many school plays and musicals.

Garner had just finished an internship in New York City last year, where she worked at Garan Inc. as a design intern for the infant/toddler girls Garanimals division, according to her LinkedIn profile.

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