SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) — Fire officials say they may never know the cause the house fire that killed two people on Wiley Avenue late Saturday night.
Investigators say the damage is too extensive to determine a cause.
Authorities aren’t identifying the two victims yet, saying it may take dental records to learn who died in the fire. If dental records are needed, it could take up to two weeks to ID the victims.
Fire officials say one of the victims was a man, but investigators can’t tell the gender of the other victim.
Authorities say one of the victims was found in the basement under rubble, while the other victim was found at the base of the stairs inside the house.
Investigators believe the people who died lived in the house.
Fire officials say natural gas was not the cause of the fire, but add damage to a gas valve caused by the fire likely served as an accelerant.
Firefighters arrived at the 800 block of Wiley Avenue around 1:45 early Sunday morning, less than seven minutes after the call to 911, Chief Brian Miller said. But the building collapsed before they were able to get water on the flames, he added.
The siding of a nearby garage was also damaged in the fire, Chief Miller said.
Alphonso said she thought it was her house on fire when she got home.
Firefighters spent much of the day Sunday combing through debris, looking for the victims and clues into what caused the fire.
Columbia Gas was called to repair a valve since a gas leak was discovered after the fire, Miller said.
Dave Rau, communications manager for Columbia Gas released a statement about the investigation on behalf of Columbia Gas Sunday night, saying: “After completing testing, Columbia Gas is confident that our lines were not the cause of the fire. Our meter and the other above-ground portion of our gas line were severely damaged by the fire. However, we were able to test the underground portion of the lines and they showed no leaks. We also checked gas lines throughout the neighborhood, and we can assure neighbors that they are safe. We will continue to work with the Springfield Fire Rescue Division and others investigating this incident.”
A K9 was on scene for the investigation and did not find any ignitable liquids, Miller said.
Officials are expected to release more information Monday morning.
UPDATE – Sunday, 5:30 p.m.
A second body has been found at the scene of a house fire on the 800 block of Wiley Avenue in Springfield.
Fire officials did discover a gas leak in a line leading to the home. The fire chief said the gas meter was heavily damaged in the fire, but they’re looking to see if the leak played a role in the fire.
“I don’t think that it was a gas-fed fire, but it’s possible that it was in fact a gas-fed fire. So we have to figure out if the gas main ruptured first and caused the fire or led fuel to the fire or if the gas leaked because of the fire,” says Brian Miller, Fire Chief, Springfield Fire Rescue Division.
Neither body has been identified.
One person has died in a house fire on the 800 block of Wiley Avenue in Springfield, early Sunday morning. Officials are not yet identifying the victim.
According to Springfield Fire Chief Brian Miller, the call for the fire came in around 1:45 a.m. When firefighters arrived, the structure collapsed.
Crews are still on scene to determine the cause and looking for any other victims..
Damage was also done to the siding of a house next door.