Smoke alarms inadequate at Dayton house where man died in fire, officials say

Credit: Jim Noelker

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Credit: Jim Noelker

Victim identified as 64-year-old Jerry Evans.

The house where a man was found dead Monday after a fire did not have adequate smoke alarms, Dayton fire officials said.

The victim was identified Tuesday as 64-year-old Jerry Evans by Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger.

ExplorePHOTOS: Seminary Avenue fatal fire

Evans lived in the house in the 20 block of Seminary Avenue that was engulfed when firefighters arrived after the fire was reported shortly before 3:30 p.m.

“When crews arrived the whole front side of the house was heavily involved in the fire. We had a report of people trapped initially so we got inside and started conducting a search right away while we started to get the fire knocked down as well,” said District Chief Matt McClain of the Dayton Fire Department.

Two of the three residents were accounted for, but crews Monday afternoon were conducting secondary searches and trying to reach relatives to track down the third occupant, McClain said.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office later confirmed its investigator was called to the scene after the victim, identified as Evans, had been found. He was pronounced dead at 4:45 p.m., according to the release from the coroner.

Evans was found in the bathroom on the second floor, according to a release issued Tuesday evening from the Dayton Fire Department.

Crews at the scene said the house is believed to be a total loss but the release stated a formal damage estimate is pending.

Also, the home “was not equipped adequately with working smoke detectors throughout each level to provide timely notification to the occupants,” the release stated.

High wind conditions allowed the fire to spread rapidly.

“The fire had run to all three floors of the house, so we had a heavy fire volume inside,” McClain said.

Crews were able to prevent the fire from coming through the roof, and were able to get it under control and knocked down quickly, he said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and the American Red Cross is assisting the other occupants who were displaced.

One firefighter was checked for minor smoke inhalation but there were no other injuries reported.

The Seminary Avenue fire marked the third fire fatality in the city of Dayton this year.

All residents are urged to make sure they have working smoke detectors on each level of their homes. For assistance with smoke detector installation, Dayton residents may go online or call 937-333-4520.

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The front porch roof collapsed during a heavy fire that killed a resident Monday, May 9, 2022, on Seminary Avenue in Dayton. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: Jim Noelker

The front porch roof collapsed during a heavy fire that killed a resident Monday, May 9, 2022, on Seminary Avenue in Dayton. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: Jim Noelker

Combined ShapeCaption
The front porch roof collapsed during a heavy fire that killed a resident Monday, May 9, 2022, on Seminary Avenue in Dayton. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

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