Firefighters investigate a fire that broke out in a garage behind a home on North Horton Street in Dayton Monday. Police and fire crews responded to the scene Tuesday after a body was reportedly found inside the garage. (Marshall Gorby/Staff)

Others knew about body in Dayton garage before it was reported, woman says

On Monday, the fire broke out at the garage in the first block of North Horton Street. Firefighters at the time said no one was hurt. Then on Tuesday, investigators rushed to the same garage after someone found a body inside.

News Center 7’s Sean Cudahy spoke to a woman who said she believes others came across the body in the garage long before it was reported.

The body now is at the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. Investigators have important questions to answer: Who is the person, how did this person die, and perhaps most key to this case — was he or she in the garage when the fire broke out, or arrive after?

RELATED: Body found inside Dayton garage that caught fire Monday morning

It all started around 5 a.m. Monday morning when fire crews responded to the burning garage. Fire crews said no one was hurt, but that it appeared someone had been living there.

More than 24 hours later, crews were called again. But not for a fire.

“There’s a dead body inside the garage. Burnt,” according to a call following the discovery that came around 11 a.m. Tuesday.

But a woman who did not want to be identified said she thinks someone knew about the body much earlier. She took videos and pictures of the garage Monday afternoon, which she said show multiple people rummaging around the burnt garage. She said they were talking about a body.

>> Family not injured in Dayton house fire deemed accidental

“I heard the guy say he’s still there and started taking a stick and poking around toward the back end of the garage, and the lady said ‘yes, I know. I got his wallet.’

“The gentleman with the stick that I seen, he was taking it and poking it and said ‘he’s back there on the beige couch’ and I’m looking like ... I know there’s somebody in there and I’m not about to walk over there, but they keep saying ‘he’s there he’s there.’”

The woman said she and her boyfriend decided to leave the area, hoping it wasn’t what they thought. But after seeing Cudahy’s reports at 5 and 6 p.m. on Channel 7, said they regret it.

“I should have called somebody. If he was still in there maybe he might not have been dead at the time and he was just, I don’t know, barely breathing,” she said.

>> Family upset with investigation into man found dead months after Dayton house fire

The woman also said she is now wondering whether firefighters missed something as they searched Monday morning.

“I think it’s kind of scary that they didn’t even take the time to look and make sure there was nobody in there,” she said.

Dayton Fire Department officials said there are still a lot of unknowns in this case, including whether the deceased person was in the garage at the time of the fire.

Fire officials said they are expecting to have more information in the next couple days.

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