Investigation underway into Warren County house fire

Published: Mar. 13, 2022 at 8:02 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2022 at 6:03 AM EDT
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WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - Investigators in Warren County are working to determine what caused a fire that destroyed a home under renovation over the weekend.

It was reported just before 11 a.m. Sunday in the 8100 block of Chamberlain Road in Franklin Township, according to Warren County dispatchers.

No one was hurt, and no one has been living in the home, said Lt. Chris Hertel with the township’s fire department.

A passerby reported the fire first, followed by multiple other 911 callers.

When fire crews arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames coming from all four sides of the two-story home with just studs, no sheetrock or power, and a basement, according to Lt. Hertel.

The home burned to the ground and is a total loss with damage set at $150,000 to $175,000, he said.

He confirmed the owner is Brett Oakley, who also owns Land of Illusion Adventure Park in neighboring Madison Township.

County property records list the owner as Oakley, Oakley as the trustee of the Brett A. Oakley Revocable Trust Agreement, and other trustees. The sale of the property, which totals over 64 acres, was recorded on Jan. 15 for $739,900.

“They bought the property and the house was in disrepair so they were fixing the house,” he said.

The State Fire Marshal’s office will help determine the cause of the fire and visit the scene on Monday, he said.

It’s not considered suspicious, he added.

“We believe it may have started in the basement but that is not definitive right now,” he said.

Lt. Hertel said crews faced some roadblocks as they battled the fire.

“It’s about a mile or so off the road, so it’s an unusual circumstance for us when most houses are 30 to 40 feet off the road. When you start getting into thousands of feet, it creates a big issue.

“There are no fire hydrants here, so we rely on tankers and tanker shuttles. Being on tankers, we have what we call a second alarm for tankers, and we utilize that to bring in resources from Montgomery and Butler County as well as Warren County.”

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