Hamilton house fire death is a suicide, police chief says

A man who died in a fire this morning in Hamilton allegedly started the fire to kill himself, Police Chief Craig Bucheit said Sunday.

Bucheit said the 33-year-old man set the fire to “take his own life,” according to a tweet.

The identity of the victim has not been released.

The fire broke shortly after 7 a.m. in a residence that houses two units in the 200 block of Second Street across from Marcum Park.

The deceased man was found in the basement of the building, Fire Chief Mark Mercer said. There has been no identification released and the Butler County Coroner’s van is at the scene.

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“The investigator is a the scene,” Mercer said.

Bill West, owner of the apartment complex, said there are two apartments and three people lived downstairs and one woman lived upstairs. He said no one else was injured and that American Red Cross was providing shelter for the displaced residents

The woman who lived upstairs said she smelled gas and she called the residents downstairs and then the smell “got worse and worse,” she said.

She felt sorry for the man’s mother.

“She lost her son, this woman did,” said the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous.

Bucheit said despite the “tragic outcome,” the credit goes to the police officers and firefighters on scene who made “valiant life-saving efforts.”

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