Shawnee VFD

Over 40 first responder assisted at the Waterworks Road structure fire that left one individual deceased.

SHAWNEE — Even when the weather provides cold and wet conditions, there is still the possibility of a fire.

In Shawnee that possibility came true with a fatal structure fire on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. The Shawnee Volunteer Fire Department alongside the Corning Volunteer Fire Department and other agencies were on scene to answer the call.

A female occupant was unable to make it out of the structure, and her body was removed from the scene.

According to the State Fire Marshal’s office, that occupant was Ellen N. Uricheck, 77, found in her bed in the home. The Fire Marshal relayed that the coroner had named the cause of death as smoke inhalation. The fire, which started in the utility room of her home, blocked her exit out of the structure, according to the Fire Marshal.

“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the victim’s family and friends,” the Shawnee Volunteer Fire Department wrote on its Facebook page. “Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

The Ohio State Fire Marshal’s office is currently investigating the cause of the fire which occurred at approximately 11 p.m. on Monday night last week.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal said the cause of the fire is undetermined; however, an electrical issue could not be ruled out as one of the causes. Nothing was reported as suspicious by the Fire Marshal as the fire seemed to be accidental.

The fire started in the back utility room of the residence.

A local police officer was on scene prior to either of the fire departments’ arrivals, and suffered minor injuries while attempting to enter the burning house, located on Waterworks Road in Corning.

Several other first responding units assisted the Corning and Shawnee departments including Crooksville Fire and EMS, New Lexington Fire and EMS and Glouster Fire. Over 40 fire and EMS personnel were present at the scene. Also assisting with mutual aid were police officers from Corning, New Straitsville, as well as the Perry County Sheriff’s Office.

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