Middletown investigating whether overdose, fire connected

Middletown investigating whether overdose, fire connected

UPDATE @ 1:30 p.m.: Elaine Lewis, of Middletown, said her nephew, Michael Lewis, 42, of Middletown, was the one who died from a drug overdose Monday night.

His brother, L.C. Lewis, 44, of Middletown, died from a drug overdose in August 2016, Elaine Lewis said.

“These are good young men who made the wrong choices,” she said.

When Lewis heard that drugs had killed her second nephew, it was “very devastating,” she said.

She called the heroin epidemic “so terrible.”

The Butler County Coroner’s Office said the cause of death is pending.

INITIAL REPORT:

Middletown police and firefighters are investigating whether a fatal drug overdose and a house fire are related, police officials said this morning.

Police were called to a home in the 600 block of Fourteenth Avenue at 2:25 p.m. Monday on a report that a man had overdosed, said Lt. Jimmy Cunningham.

The man’s name has not been released.

Three hours later, the fire department was called to the same residence, according to Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Spaulding. The residents of the house called 911 for a basement fire and several neighbors called 911 about smoke coming out of the house.

Spaulding said there was no one in the house when the fire started and there were no injuries reported in fighting the blaze.

The cause of the fire is being investigated, Spaulding said. The fire report is incomplete, he said.

Michael Davis and Asiah Slone moved into the house about two weeks ago and were gone for about an hour when the fire started.

“When we came back, the house was on fire,” Davis said. “We lost everything, clothes, furniture. Everything got burned up in the fire.”

Davis said he went inside the burning house to try to retrieve some clothing, but it was too smoky. He said the stove was turned up on high and there were flames coming from the basement.

Davis said just hours earlier, police and medics responded to the house for a reported overdose.

Slone said she made the call to 911 about the reported overdose as well as the call for the fire.

The city’s arson dog, Scottie, was used to help detect what started the fire in the basement.

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