911 caller reporting Middletown house fire: ‘Your mommy is in the house?'

A fire is under investigation Aug. 14, 2020, in the 1200 block of Lind Street in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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A fire is under investigation Aug. 14, 2020, in the 1200 block of Lind Street in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

One 911 caller Friday night described to a Middletown Division of Police dispatcher the frantic scene that was developing on Lind Street.

The caller said a girl, maybe 5 or 6 years old, was running down the street and she could see flames shooting out of the back of a nearby home. When the dispatcher asked the caller is she knew if anyone was the house, she asked the little girl.

“Hold on baby,” the 911 caller is heard telling the girl. “Your mommy is in the house? Your mommy is in the house?”

The the girl was “hysterical,” the caller said.

She told the dispatcher neighbors were trying to rescue the woman out of the burning house. Another 911 caller said “somebody is in the house.”

Another caller said she thought there were children in the house, then she said the only child was safely out of the house.

ExplorePolice believe Middletown mom stabbed was pregnant; suspect just got out of jail

Jamaka Calhoun, 28, the girl’s mother, allegedly was stabbed by an intruder in her home before she was pulled from the fire, according to court documents. She died at the scene.

Middletown police arrested Anson Pride, 41, Saturday afternoon after he was identified as the suspect with the help of video from the scene. Police Chief David Birk said the woman appeared to be protecting herself in an altercation with Pride, who police suspect was breaking into houses in the neighborhood.

Pride is charged with aggravated murder and aggravated burglary. More charges, including arson, are possible when the case is presented to a Butler County grand jury. Although police suspected she may have been pregnant, there was no evidence when the autopsy was performed Tuesday, according to the county coroner’s office.

The Butler County Coroner’s office said Calhoun died from stab wounds and her death was ruled a homicide.

Pride was arraigned Monday morning in Middletown Municipal Court where Visiting Judge Chris Atkins set bond at $1.25 million. Pride will be back in court Aug. 24 for a preliminary hearing.

Calhoun’s daughter is with family members.

“It is very sad and traumatic for her,” Reeve said. “The little girl wanted to stay with her mother. She was still alive then, but told her to get out of the house because of the fire.”

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