March 31, 2015

Ohio girl, 10, dies in house fire hours before her accused rapist is due at trial

3-31-15 Ohio:

Hours before a Green Township, Ohio, man was due to go on trial for rape, his alleged victim -- a 10-year-old girl -- died Monday in an early morning house fire on Youngstown's south side.

Neighbors reported hearing an explosion at about 3 a.m. before seeing the fire, which killed the girl and her two grandparents, reported.

Authorities did not immediately determine the cause of the blaze. However, investigators did not initially find anything criminal, Youngstown Fire Department Capt. Brad Blackburn, chief of detectives for the police, told The Vindicator.

Firefighters encountered flames throughout the home, Fire Chief John O'Neill said. There are indications from the extent of the fire that it started in the basement, he said. The victims were reportedly found on the second floor.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries when a floor gave way and he fell to the next level, O'Neill said. ..Continued.. by William LaRue

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