One person dies in Dayton apartment fire

Preliminary cause in for Dayton’s 1st fatal fire of year

A preliminary cause of death for Christopher Callahan is smoke inhalation, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. The office has ruled out carbon monoxide intoxication.

Dayton Fire Marshal Andrew Steele preliminary indications are that this was an accidental fire, with the origin being in the second floor bedroom.

“We’re still putting together the pieces of what happened; we won’t have a final determination for a while,” Steele said.

The fire did affect the attic and structure, as well as substantial damage to the second floor bedroom and water damage in the apartment below.

Steele said the building manager has an “aggressive” program for inspecting smoke alarms. The alarms in this apartment had been in working order when last inspected, but were disconnected at the time of the fire, Steele said.

UPDATE @ 11 a.m. (Dec. 7)

The victim in the deadly fire at an apartment on Valerie Arms Drive this morning has been identified as 31-year-old Christopher Callahan, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

An autopsy is being done this morning.

There have been five fatal fires so far this year in Montgomery County, including this morning’s which is the first of the year for the city of Dayton, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

There have been 103 fatal fires across the state this year, according to the marshal’s office.

Fatal Fires by County in the Miami Valley

  • 1: Butler
  • 1: Clark
  • 1: Greene
  • 2: Mercer
  • 5: Montgomery
  • 3: Shelby
  • 2: Warren

A Dayton fire official said the smoke detectors had been disconnected in the apartment on Valerie Arms Drive.

UPDATE @ 6:25 a.m.

The cause of the fatal fire is still under investigation, according to Paul Sheehan, Dayton deputy fire chief.

There were no other removals or injuries reported, he said.

The fire was contained to a single apartment on the second floor, Sheehan said. The state fire marshal also has been notified.

“Anytime you see a fire or someone in trouble, the natural inclination is to want to help that person,” Sheehan said. “We would much prefer you call 911 and let us get there because we’re properly equipped and we can affect the rescue.”

UPDATE @ 5:51 a.m.

One person has died in an apartment fire on Valerie Arms Drive, according to fire officials.

The coroner’s office has been notified.

The victim’s identity has not been released pending notification of family.

Fire officials said they believe this is Dayton’s first fire fatality of 2016.

UPDATE @ 5:33 a.m.

A fire inside a Dayton apartment on Valarie Arms Drive is reportedly under control.

We’re working to learn on the condition of any victims, including at least one person who was initially reported trapped.

A witness said he was waiting for the bus when he saw smoke and flames coming from the structure.

Antonee Darden said he kicked in the front door and ran upstairs, where he saw more smoke and flames. He said he was able to help a woman escape the fire, but he also heard a man yell for help after he banged on his door.

“It was dark, the lights were off, I saw flames,” Darden said. “I couldn’t see anything in his room. It was black and there was a lot of smoke.”

Darden said he called 911 before he went into the apartment building.

“I couldn’t wait for fire officials,” he said. “I knew I had to do something. I didn’t have time to stop and think. … I was in the right place, right time. I tried to do the right thing and act on instinct.”


At least one person is reported trapped in a structure fire on Valerie Arms Drive in Dayton.

Crews were dispatched to the 3200 block of Valerie Arms Drive around 4:30 a.m. on reports of a possible structure fire.

First crews arriving on scene reported fire was showing from the second floor of the structure.

At least one person was reportedly trapped inside the structure when firefighters first arrived.

We have a crew heading to the scene and we’ll update this page when new information is available.

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