Victim ID’d in fatal Middletown fire at apartment complex

A man died in a fire in the parking lot of a Middletown apartment complex on Monday, April 6, 2020. The fire was reported at about 6:20 a.m. The person was found on fire outside the Shady Creek apartment buildings on Roosevelt Boulevard. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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A man died in a fire in the parking lot of a Middletown apartment complex on Monday, April 6, 2020. The fire was reported at about 6:20 a.m. The person was found on fire outside the Shady Creek apartment buildings on Roosevelt Boulevard. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

A man died Monday morning in a fire in the parking lot of a Middletown apartment complex.

The fire was reported at about 6:20 a.m. The 66-year-old man was found on fire outside the Shady Creek apartment buildings on Roosevelt Boulevard.

“He was on fire, there was a police officer that was on scene first who tried to extinguish the flames, and then when the fire department came on the scene a minute later, they took over,” said Shelby Quinlivan, Middletown spokeswoman.

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The man was identified Tuesday as Steven Eidson, a resident of the complex, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office. Eidson’s cause of death is still pending investigation.

The Middletown Arson Task Force, which is made up of firefighters and police officers, is investigating, Middletown police Major Scott Reeve said.

A woman called 911 reporting a fire at the apartment building across the creek from hers in Shady Creek.

“I see flames all over the living room, I see smoke. I am looking in their back door,” the woman said.

There was the realization that the fire in not in the structure.

“Wait, Wait, Wait, Wait …. Oh my God, there’s a man on fire. Oh my God, Oh my God,” she said.

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Middletown Fire Lt. Frank Baughman said the call was received as a structure fire, but crews found the victim on fire. The man was located in a grassy area.

“There were a couple of areas of fire. He was on fire and then there was an area were there was a walker, like an elderly person would use, that was on fire … there was quite a bit of fire,” Baughman said. “Very sad.”

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