2 adults, 2 children dead following Stark County house fire

Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 12:30 PM EDT
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JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WOIO) - Four people died, including two children following a house fire in Stark County Sunday morning.

The fire scene was a haunting reminder of the impact of fire, as only the burned out frame of the house was left standing.

Jackson Township Fire Chief Tim Berczik said the March 26 fire occurred at around 12:16 a.m. in the 4300 block of Skycrest Drive NW in Jackson Township near Canton.

First responders arrived to the home fully engulfed in flames, Chief Berczik said, and firefighters began to protect surrounding houses shortly after arriving.

Robbi Beers is a neighbor devastated over the loss of an entire family to fire, saying she woke up to the smell of smoke and the flashing lights of emergency responders, “There were ashes just falling right by my window. The wind was blowing the fire so high it was like up over the houses.”

Officials confirmed four people, two adults and two children, died as a result of the fire, and it’s suspected the family was likely sleeping, and never made it out.

Eva Hathaway speaking with the permission of her mother, tells 19 News that the young boy who died was a 6th grader at her school -- Jackson Township Middle School, “It’s pretty heartbreaking because a lot of my friends knew him, and they were really close to him.”

Beers said she just saw the young boy and his sister playing outside on Friday - enjoying their spring break, “The kids would ride their dirt bikes up and down the road a little bit. Sounds we would hear often, we’re really going to miss hearing them.”

The loss of four lives to a fire so intense and so close to home, has others in the community wondering what happened, and thinking about how to protect their own families from a danger that broke out in the middle of the night, Robbi Beers says, “It’s scary you know. I have a family and I have kids and I’m thinking I don’t have smoke detectors, and we should. That’s what we’re going to be doing now is getting smoke detectors, because that’s probably what happened is they went to sleep and never woke up.”

The State Fire Marshal is working with Jackson Township Fire to determine what caused the fire.

The Stark County Coroner’s Office tells 19 News that a lot of work has to be done before they can confirm the names of the people who died.

It’s interesting to note that the side of the street where the home is located lost power on Saturday and power wasn’t restored until 11:00 P.M. that night. Firefighters received the first emergency call about the fire at 12:16 A.M.

This is a developing story. Return to 19 News for updates.