Victim ID’d in fatal Middletown house fire

The identity of a Middletown man who died Saturday morning in a house fire has been released by the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

Terry Frazier, 60, died from smoke inhalation in the fire in the 700 block of Eleventh Avenue, according to the coroner’s office. Frazier’s death was ruled an accident.

A local resident, Donald Simms, saw smoke at the house and kicked the door in to try and locate the victim. He wrapped his face due to the smoke and crawled on his hands and knees but was unable to find anyone before first responders arrived. They told him to stop searching.

MORE: Local resident searched for Middletown fire victim before first responders arrived

After learning there was someone inside the house, firefighters entered and quickly located him, according to Middletown Deputy Fire Chief Brent Dominy.

Frazier became the third person to die this year in a house fire in Middletown, said Deputy Chief Jeff Spaulding. There were no fire deaths in 2018 and two each in 2017 and 2016, according to Middletown fire officials.

On March 11, James “Butch” Gann, 71, died in a fire on Sixth Avenue. Gann was in a wheelchair and was unable to escape the fire, according to Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli.

In late August, John Mobley, 59, who had been a patient at Miami Valley Hospital since the Aug. 17 fire on Carroll Avenue in Middletown, died. Mobley attended Middletown High School, served in the U.S. Army for eight years and was a laborer, his sister said.

Spaulding said there were no working smoke detectors in Frazier’s house.

“It’s about prevention,” Spaulding said.

It appears Frazier, a smoker, tried to extinguish the fire that started in his bedroom, then burned through the floor and catch a mattress in the basement on fire. Spaulding said the fire spread “very, very quickly” and it became “too much for him.”

Frazier was found in his bathroom, Spaulding said.

When there’s a fire, Spaulding said, residents need to leave their house immediately, then call 911.

He said everyone should have working smoke detectors in their home.

The house suffered “extensive smoke damage,” Spaulding said.

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