Man dies in Butler County fire just weeks after blaze at same trailer

Credit: Journal News

Fatal Fire at Catalina mobile home park in Madison Township

Credit: Journal News

For the second time in less than six weeks, the same trailer home in Madison Twp. caught fire, this time with the occupant dying in the blaze.

The State Fire Marshal and the Butler County Arson Task Force are investigating the cause of a fatal fire Sunday night at the Catalina Trailer Park, 6501 Germantown Road.

Emergency crews were called to the fire about 8:06 p.m. according to the incident report filed by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies arriving on the scene found the trailer fully engulfed in flames. They met a man at the scene who said he was smoking a cigar and had laid it down on a roll of toilet paper causing a fire, according to the sheriff’s report.

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Deputies said that a box of ammunition caught fire sending projectiles off the porch. In addition, welding equipment had caught fire, and the attached gas tank exploded, the report said. The man at the scene said the person who lived in the trailer was asleep in the front bedroom.

The two deputies attempted to get to the occupant’s bedroom, but due to the intensity of the fire in front of the trailer were unable to make entry.

Madison Twp. firefighters arrived and extinguished the fire. After the fire was out, first responders entered the trailer and found the occupant, Steven C. Strain, 59, on the hallway floor leading from the bedroom to the front door. Madison Twp. Fire Chief Kent Hall said no firefighters were injured while putting the fire out.

The fire was a total loss, according to Hall. He said damage estimate was about $15,000 to the trailer and $2,000 to the contents.

Detectives and the State Fire Marshal’s office were contacted and the Coroner’s Office responded to take possession of Strain’s remains. The suspect was taken to the Middletown Police Department to be interviewed by sheriff’s detectives.

Hall said firefighters responded to the same address at Catalina Trailer Park about six weeks ago. In that fire, Hall said one of the trailer’s rooms had been burned, and the trailer sustained smoke damage.

Recently, three employees of the trailer park were recognized with Lifesaving Awards from the Madison Twp. Fire Department for their action in the Aug. 12 fire.

According to a social post by the fire department, Stephanie Johnson, the park manager, and maintenance employees Iry Reed and Chris Wiggins were able to locate the resident inside the rear door and remove him from the trailer in the Aug. 12 fire.

A message seeking comment was left for Johnson but was not returned by deadline.