74-year-old man killed in fire one day after birthday

Man dies in Hamilton house fire
Man dies in Hamilton house fire

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - Fire crews are investigating a fire that killed a 74-year-old Hamilton man, just one day after his birthday.

Crews responded to the 200 block of Hanover Street at around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning. Upon arrival, they found heavy flames coming from the first floor of the home.

Police found the victim, Warren Praether, deceased in a front room on the first floor. Investigators believe the fire started in that room, but it is still unclear what started the fire. It is not believed to be suspicious.

Firefighters had some issues battling the fire after some of them fell through holes in the floor. No firefighters were injured.

"When we arrived on the scene , we had heavy fire showing out of the first floor of the structure, it appears to have started in the front room where we actually found the victim," said Deputy Chief Tony Pugh of the Hamilton Fire Department.

Family  members of the victim are holding onto memories, Praether's younger brother says the timing of the tragedy makes it that much harder to take.

"Yesterday was his birthday, we were all together celebrating his birthday, he turned 74 years old, terrible loss I know that, only brother I had," Praether said.

Family member says Praether is survived by six children and  lived in the house for nearly 20 years, now they're leaning on faith to get through the holidays without their loved one.

"Thanksgiving dinner, he won't be there, but he'll be there in spirit, we'll make it through it, we'll make it through it," Praether said.

Investigators located a smoke alarm in the home; however, it is unknown if it was activated.

The investigation is being conducted by the Division of State Fire Marshal and the Hamilton Fire and Police Departments. No other homes were damaged.

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