Middletown arson fire victim identified

3:28 p.m Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016 Crime news
A person was found dead following a house fire early Saturday morning in the 1500 block of Jacoby Avenue in Middletown. JORDYN HUFFMAN/STAFF

UPDATE @ 3:11 p.m. (Nov. 8):

The victim in the fire has been identified as Tiffany Hoskins, 36, of Middletown.

The fire has been classified as incendiary and is being investigated as an arson fire, according to police.

Anyone with information on the fire is asked to contact Middletown police at 513-425-7737.

UPDATE @ 2:05 p.m. Nov. 7:

Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli said despite the listing on a police report that the Jacoby Avenue fire was arson, it is still under investigation by a team of firefighters and police officers.

“We are still considering everything,” Lolli said. He said an official cause from the fire department could come later his week.

UPDATE @ 1:30 p.m. Nov. 7:

A Middletown police report lists the fire in the 1500 block of Jacoby Avenue early Saturday morning as arson.

The report obtained by this news agency says little else, except that a neighbor called for the fire department and a person was found deceased on the second floor.

An autopsy is being performed on the body today at the Butler County Coroner’s Office to determine gender and identity.

INITIAL REPORT, Nov. 5:

A person was found dead early Saturday morning by Middletown firefighters in a home in the 1500 block of Jacoby Avenue, according to Fire Chief Paul Lolli.

Firefighters were called to the house about 4:20 a.m. and found heavy fire coming from the second floor.

“They were getting information that it was a vacant house,” Lolli said. It took firefighters about 10 minutes to knock the fire down.

When searching the house after the initial knockdown, firefighters found the person on the floor near the top of the stairwell of the large blue house.

“At this point it is undermined if it is male or female,” Lolli said. The owner of the home died about a month ago, the chief said.

The Butler Coroner’s Office will worked to identify the person and determine cause of death. The Middletown fire investigation team, which includes firefighters and police detectives, is working to determine the fire cause.

Investigators, including the police crime scene van, remained at the scene most of Saturday. The house and yard were blocked off by tape.

Fire Capt. Jon Harvey said about 80 percent of the upstairs of the house was damaged, mostly where the deceased was found.

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