2 children hurt in West Chester fire have died; incident still under investigation

No adults home at time of blaze at apartment.

Two of the four young children injured in a weekend fire in West Chester Twp. died Tuesday, according to the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office, and autopsies will be performed Wednesday.

A fire broke out around 12:15 p.m. Saturday in an apartment at the Meadow Ridge complex, 5259 Aster Park Drive. Four children were rescued and required life-saving measures and two of the children were pronounced dead Tuesday.

Chief Administrator Andrea Hatten told the Journal-News 4-year-old Bryson Brooks was pronounced dead at 5 p.m. and 2-year-old Alaiya Encarnacion succumbed to her injuries around 9 p.m. She said autopsies will be performed Wednesday to determine the exact cause.

The ages are slightly different than first reported. Barb Wilson, a spokeswoman for the township said the other two children are 6 years and 9 months of age.

“The oldest (boy) has improved and could be released from hospital soon,” Wilson said.

No adults were home at the time of the blaze.

Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser told the Journal-News on Wednesday he has every faith in West Chester Twp. to investigate this tragic fire.

“It is being expertly investigated by the West Chester police department that have an excellent investigative staff working on it,” Gmoser said. “It is a tragedy of monumental proportions and it is being dealt with that way.”

There was a sober mood at the township Wednesday morning and township Administrator Larry Burks told the Journal-News, “That’s life, we were hoping they all four would come through, now the other two we hope they pull through.”

The township released two 911 calls reporting the fire, with one caller was repeating what someone else near her at the scene was reporting.

“I see smoke and hear glass breaking, she said the windows are busting out and everything,” the female caller said. “When the dispatcher asked if anyone was inside, “she said she don’t think so cause her car isn’t here.”

The four children were brought outside and received life support measures, Fire Chief Rick Prinz said.

“Four victims were brought outside and received advanced life support measures from our department,” Prinz said. “One of the four was not breathing and did not have a pulse.”

Just after 2 p.m. on Saturday, officials said all four children — while in critical condition — had pulses and were breathing, and they were transported downtown to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Prinz said the mother of the children went to the hospital to be with the children.

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