Authorities hope to have more answers today about what started a fire that killed a Union County woman early yesterday.
A passer-by saw flames shooting from a duplex at 7178/7180 Scioto Road at 6:12 a.m. and called 911. Although firefighters arrived in only a few minutes, it was too late to save Sloan A. Schnell, 26.
The duplex did not have any smoke detectors, and it appears as if Schnell was trying to get to the front door when she was overcome, Jerome Township Fire Chief Scott Skeldon said. She had burns over 30 percent of her body.
Firefighters roused the couple living in the other side of the duplex, located in the town of Jerome near the Delaware County line, and they made it out safely. They were too distraught to comment yesterday.
Neighbors said Schnell and lived alone with her dog.
Investigators continue to search for a cause of the fire, which Skeldon said was not suspicious. The fire largely was contained to the front of the home, which neighbors also said was the only way out.
Maria Spurgeon, 22, lives next door and was awakened by the flashing lights. She thought the police had pulled someone over until she heard the diesel engines of the firetrucks that had parked in her driveway.
She said it’s sad and unbelievable that something happened on a street where all the houses are close together and everyone knows one another.
“It hits like a ton of bricks,” she said. “I don’t understand it.”
Ryanne Faulk lives in a house on the other side of the duplex. She heard the sirens and ran over as soon as crews arrived to see if there was anything she could do.
Her grandfather Loran “Dink” Faulk built the home that burned, as well as most of the others in the neighborhood. Faulk Street is only a few yards from the fire.
Faulk, 25, has lived in the neighborhood her whole life. She said Schnell’s death will hit everyone hard.
“It makes us all sad,” she said. “I hope there’s something we can do to help her family.”
By Holly Zachariah - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
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