A Beavercreek house fire early Sunday morning left two people dead and fire investigators said functioning smoke detectors may have saved their lives.
Fire engulfed the house, located in the 2500 block of Wendover Drive, around 4 a.m., said Beavercreek Battalion Chief Greg Connors. A neighbor called the fire department after he spotted flames shooting from the home across the street from his own.
“The whole front of the house was on fire and the bushes were on fire,” said Ben Clonch, the neighbor who called 911. “You’ve got to do the right thing in a situation like this. You can’t just sit there and not do anything.”
The victims had not been publicly identified as of Sunday afternoon.
One victim, a male, was taken to Miami Valley Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. He was later pronounced dead, according to Connors. Firefighters found a female, who was living at the residence, dead at the scene.
A car sitting in the drive way was also destroyed by fire.
Firefighters didn’t hear any working smoke detectors when they got to the home and a secondary check confirmed there were no working detectors, according to Connors.
“It’s a cheap investment that is so valuable to your family and yourself,” he said. “When you go to sleep, that thing doesn’t go to sleep. It’s watching over you.”
Investigators have not determined the origin of the fire. The Beavercreek Fire Department Fire Prevention Bureau and the state fire marshal are investigating.
Standing outside of his home Sunday morning, Clonch said he wished he could have done more.
“I would like, if I could go back, to run up to that side of the house and maybe try to yell and wake them up,” he said. “The fire was really large at that point so doing that would have been endangering myself.
I don’t want to sound selfish, but I just don’t want to get hurt,” he said.
Connors said Clonch made the right move.
“Trying to make a rescue without the gear is not in the best interest,” Connors said.
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