2 days, 2 fatal fires: Butler County officials continue to investigate

Two men have died in separate residential fires in Butler County this week.

A Hamilton man, 69, died after being found with burn wounds on the porch of his home in the 400 block of Mill Road on Tuesday. He was flown by medical helicopter to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he died.

That came less than two days after a 59-year-old man died in a Madison Twp. fire at the same trailer where a different person was recused from a blaze just weeks ago.

In the latest incident Tuesday, Hamilton firefighters were called to the Mill Road home about 5:16 p.m. and found a man on the porch injured, according to Trevor Snider, Hamilton fire investigator.

“There was a victim outside on the porch who had severe burns,” Snider said.

Alfred Riley, 69, was transported by medical helicopter to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he died. Snider said a small fire in the house was extinguished quickly. Riley was able to exit the house on his own.

Following the autopsy, the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office ruled Riley died of burn injuries. A preliminary investigation indicates Riley was smoking while using oxygen, according to the coroner’s office said.

The cause of the fire remain under investigation, according to Snider

A neighbor called 911 and said that “a man’s on fire on his porch ... please hurry.”

The woman tells the dispatcher the house is also on fire.

“She (Riley’s wife) rolled him until she got the fire out, but the house is on fire," the caller said.

The State Fire Marshal and Butler County Arson Task Force investigators are continuing to investigate a fire Sunday night the claimed the life of Steven C. Strain at his Madison Twp. residence.

Emergency crews were called about 8:06 p.m. to the Catalina Manufactured Home Community on Germantown Road for a fire at Strain’s trailer. Sheriff’s deputies said the trailer was already engulfed in flames when they arrived.

The deputies attempted to get to his bedroom, but due to the intensity of the fire, there were issues getting in. After the fire was out, first responders entered the trailer and found Strain on the hallway floor leading from the bedroom to the front door, according to the sheriff’s incident report.

According to the Butler County Coroner’s Office, Strain’s died of smoke inhalation, and the preliminary manner of death was listed as an accident. A man who escaped the blaze told officials the fire was likely started by a cigar he set on toilet paper.

Officials said firefighters put out a blaze at the same trailer on Aug. 12. During that fire, three trailer park employees pulled a person from inside the rear door and remove him from the trailer. That person was identified as James Johnson, the original owner of the trailer. In that fire, one of the trailer’s rooms had been burned, and the trailer sustained smoke damage.

Johnson was the person who told deputies how Sunday’s fire started, according to the sheriff’s report. He was also the one who told deputies that Strain was asleep in the front bedroom.

The Catalina park employees were recently recognized with Lifesaving Awards from the fire department.

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