SHAWNEE — Even when the weather provides cold and wet conditions, there is still the possibility of a fire. In Shawnee, the volunteer fire department, along with the Corning Volunteer Fire Department and others, answered an emergency call regarding a fatal structure fire.
The Ohio State Fire Marshal is currently investigating the cause of the fire which occurred at approximately 11 p.m. on Monday night last week. The Perry County Tribune has contacted the State Fire Marshal for details on the investigation.
The Ohio State Fire Marshal stated that the cause of the fire is undetermined; however, an electrical issue could not be ruled out as one of the causes. Nothing was reported as suspicious by the Fire Marshal as the fire seemed to be accidental. The fire started in the back utility room of the residence.
The Shawnee Volunteer Fire Department and the Corning Fire Department were dispatched to a structure fire with entrapment at 10:56 p.m. on Waterworks Road in the Village of Corning. The Shawnee department stated that prior to its arrival, a “local” police officer suffered minor injuries attempting to enter the house that was burning. It is unclear who the officer is or what agency he/she is from.
Unfortunately, the department also stated that a female occupant of the house did not make it out of the home. The body was removed from the scene of the fire. According to the Fire Marshal, 77-year-old Ellen N. Uricheck was found on her bed in the home. The coroner told the Fire Marshal that Uricheck died due to smoke inhalation. The fire, which started in the utility room of her home, blocked her exit out of the structure, according to the Fire Marshal.
“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the victim’s family and friends,” the Shawnee Volunteer Fire Department stated on its Facebook page. “Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”
Several other first responding units assisted the Corning and Shawnee departments including Crooksville Fire and EMS, New Lexington Fire and EMS and Glouster Fire. Over 40 fire and EMS personnel were present at the scene. Also assisting with mutual aid were police officers from Corning, New Straitsville, as well as the Perry County Sheriff’s Office.