Small boy, two adults ID'd in fatal apartment fire

Three dead in fire
(FOX19 NOW/Jordan Vilines)
(FOX19 NOW/Jordan Vilines)
(FOX19 NOW/Jordan Vilines)
(FOX19 NOW/Jordan Vilines)

SPRINGFIELD TWP, OH (FOX19) - A young child and two adults died in an early morning apartment fire Wednesday, fire officials said.

Amber Johnson, 32, and and her son, Adrian Johnson, 5, were found on the hallway floor of an apartment building in the 1500 block of Pleasant Run Drive shortly after crews arrived just before 3 a.m., said Springfield Township Fire Chief Robert Leininger.

They were taken to Mercy Health Fairfield Hospital, where they were pronounced dead, he said.

The third victim, Mario Meatchum, 28, was found under rubble in the kitchen about 5:15 a.m.

The tragic development hit firefighters hard.

"We have a heavy burden and we'll take this with us for some time," Leininger said. "We're supposed to be able to save lives and we take it very personal when it's not successful."

The fire wasn't that big, but toxic smoke and carbon monoxide poisoning appear to be the cause of death for both the mother and boy, Leininger said.

It was not immediately clear what killed the adult male, smoke or the fire.

The woman's two other children were initially unaccounted for. Authorities have since determined they were staying at a grandmother's house when the fire broke out.

Adrian Johnson was a kindergarten student at Mt. Healthy Preparatory and Fitness Academy.

"We are handling this situation like a family that lost a loved one," Principal of the charter school, Tim Braggs said. "He was a family member here. We are heartbroken."

Baggs said the students were told on Wednesday and counselors will be made available to students in the next couple of days.

Four families in all were displaced.

Multiple injuries were reported when the blaze broke out in a second story apartment kitchen.

Neighbors on the first and third stories said that their belongings were not damaged.

They said firefighters woke them up around 3 a.m. and told them to leave their apartments.

The fire was reported out, but then it appeared to re-ignite on the third floor just before 5 a.m. Those hot spots were quickly brought under control again.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. It is not considered suspicious, the fire chief said. It was possibly caused by residents leaving food on the stove top or leaving a burner on before falling asleep.

The apartment had working smoke detectors, Leininger said.

A damage estimate was not available.

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