By Carol McIntire and Leigh Ann Rutledge
Firefighters in Carroll County responded to three fires during the late evening and early morning hours of Dec. 15 and 16, including one that involved a fatality.
Magnolia Fire Chief Don Nicholson Jr. said his department was called to 4216 Steeple Rd. NW, Magnolia (Rose Twp.), at 4 a.m. Dec. 16 by the Carroll County Sheriff’s 911 dispatch center. A passer-by saw the fire and called 911.
Upon arrival, they found a single-wide house trailer fully involved in flames.
Carroll County Coroner Dr. Mandal Haas, said Lisa Franklin, 55, died in the fire. Haas said indications are Franklin was alive at the time the fire started and he believes, from initial test results, she died of smoke inhalation. However, her body was taken to the Stark County Morgue for an autopsy. Haas said Franklin’s body was discovered on a mattress in the home.
Firefighters from Magnolia and Dellroy Volunteer Fire Dept. battled the blaze in temperatures that, with the wind chill, were below 0 degrees. Firemen remained on the scene until the late morning hours when the state fire marshal arrived to investigate the scene.
The fire remains under a joint investigation by Sheriff Williams’ department, the coroner and the state fire marshal.
Carroll County Municipal Court records show an ongoing eviction action between the landowner, Carolyn Grigsby, and Franklin, who owned the mobile home (a 1974 Marlette valued at $6,480) that dates back to July 7, 2016. During a court hearing Nov. 3, the premises was ordered restored to Grigsby on Dec. 7 at noon.
Dellroy firefighters were called to fight a structure fire at 4216 Berwyn Drive, Dellroy (Atwood Lake area) in the frigid temperatures at 9:59 p.m. Dec. 15 by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department dispatch center.
Chief Emerson Huffman said the homeowner, Dennis Eckman, called 911 to say a truck in a garage attached to the home caught on fire.
The fire quickly spread to the home and, when firefighters arrived, the single-story wood home was engulfed in flames. Eckman and his wife escaped without injury.
“We had trouble with the water freezing because it was so cold,” said Huffman. “We transported water from a pond on Washington St. and from the launch ramp at Atwood Lake to a portable pond set up at the site.
The Ohio Department of Transportation was called to the scene to salt State Route 542 to allow access to Berwyn St. Sheriff Dale Williams said a portion of SR 542 was shut down for a period of time.
Dellroy firefighters received mutual aid from Sherrodsville Community Fire and Rescue, Sherrodsville VFD Inc., Carrollton and Leesville firefighters. They remained on the scene until 2:30 a.m. Dellroy firefighters were recalled to the scene for a rekindle.
Emerson said the home was covered by insurance.
Fox Twp., Loudon, Carrollton Village and Amsterdam firefighters provided mutual aid to Bergholz Fire Dept. at a fire just across the Carroll-Jefferson county line on CR 263 in the early morning hours of Dec. 16.
Bergholz Fire Chief Dwayne Morley said his department was called to a home on CR 263 at 3 a.m. The home was owned by William and Bernice Bonar.
The home was a total loss. Firefighters were at the scene for five and one-half hours.
Morley noted it was the coldest day this winter season which caused hoses and lines to freeze and pumps to malfunction.
The fire remains under investigation. The family has insurance coverage, but a gofundme.com page has been set up to help replace the family’s personal items and essentials.