Shadyside Fire Victim Will Undergo Autopsy

SHADYSIDE – It is too soon to tell whether a fire at a trailer in Shadyside that killed one person was set intentionally or happened accidentally, a state official said.

At about 9 a.m. Monday, Shadyside firefighters responded to a trailer fire in the 54000 block of Wegee Road. One person died in the blaze, but has yet to be identified, said Shane Cartmill, Ohio Fire Marshal Office spokesman.

“We do not have a positive ID and that includes the gender,” he said.

Cartmill said state fire officials are conducting their own investigation of the blaze. But the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department and Ohio Bureau of Criminal of Investigation also are involved. An autopsy is being performed on the victim’s body and a coroner’s report is expected in the next 24-48 hours, he said.

“Just because we’re called in does not necessarily mean there’s a criminal or suspicious case. Some fire departments need help or don’t have the capabilities or need assistance in major cases, such as a fatal fire,” Cartmill said.

The trailer did sustain heavy damage but was not completely destroyed, he said. Cartmill said he had not heard whether the origin of the fire began inside or outside.

“Our investigators are doing interviews with the first responders and also neighbors and any passersby. It is a little secluded,” he said.

Shadyside Fire Capt. Chris Wiles referred questions to Cartmill and the sheriff’s department. Sheriff Fred Thompson could not be reached for comment.

Cartmill said he could not confirm reports that law enforcement were looking for and had found a vehicle that may have been at the scene.