JEROMESVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – The State Fire Marshal is investigating what sparked a tragic fire that killed three children in Ashland County early Monday morning.
A neighbor called 911 just before one Monday morning and told Ashland County dispatchers he could see massive flames and smoke coming from a house on Township Road 1550 in Jeromesville.
He said a man who lived in the house was frantically knocking on his door, saying his children were trapped inside.
When Jeromesville firefighters arrived, three people had already escaped. They were taken to University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
When the flames were contained enough to conduct search and rescue efforts, crews found the bodies of 12-year-old Faithlyn Bogavich, 4-year-old Delaney Bogavich, and 1-year-old John Jeffery “J.J.” Bogavich.
The coroner ruled the children died from smoke inhalation.
Faithlyn’s mother said the girl’s 14-year-old brother was among the three who escaped.
“I can’t fathom it,” said Hillsdale Middle School principal Tim Keib. “The pain that the parents must be in right now is staggering. I have five children of my own. To lose one would be catastrophic. To lose three… I can’t even put my head around it. It’s tragic.”
Both Faithlyn and her brother attended Hillsdale Community Schools, where Faithlyn was an incoming sixth grader.
“Faithlyn’s a great kid,” Keib said. “She was a bubbly spirit, smile that never stopped and just a fantastic kid to be around.”
Grief counselors were available at the high school Monday for anyone in need and Keib said they could be made available at another date if necessary.
The school district is also teaming up with local philanthropic group Hillsdale Cares to collect clothing and other items for the surviving family members displaced by the fire.
The following locations are accepting donations:
- Hillsdale High School
485 Twp. Rd., Jeromesville, OH 44840
- Linda’s Beauty Boutique
26 S High St., Jeromesville, OH 44840
- Kendig Park Concession Stand
The family is in need of the following items:
- Women’s Pants (size L)
- Women’s Tops (size XL)
- Women’s Shoes (size 9)
- Men’s Pants (size L)
- Men’s Tops (size XL)
- Men’s Shoes (Size 10)
- Men’s Pants (size 30 x 32)
- Men’s Shirts (size L)
- Men’s Shoes (size 13)
- Underwear (size M)
Monetary donations can be made to Hillsdale Cares in the family’s name and mailed or dropped off at the high school.
Investigators with the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office are working to determine a cause of the fire.
The Red Cross has been called to the scene to assist.