By Brett Milam
Two women were killed in a Bethel house fire during the early morning hours of Aug. 22, fire officials said.
The fire occurred on the 400 block of North Charity Street at 2:40 a.m., Rick Stowell, chief of the Bethel-Tate Fire Department, said.
Stowell said fire crews were able to knock down a large portion of the fire down from the outside of the home and then the crews were able to get inside.
When doing a primary search of the house, fire crews found two victims near the back of the house, with one found in the kitchen and the other one in the dining room area.
The identities of the victims have not been confirmed yet, Stowell said.
It’s the first home fire fatalities in Bethel and Tate townships since 1981, Stowell said, with the Stevenson slayings, where four people were killed and the home was set on fire to cover up the crime.
Stowell said four investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office have been sent down to do the investigation.
The cause of the fire has been listed as undetermined and the investigation is ongoing.
One firefighter with the Mount Orab Fire Department was taken to the hospital for feeling ill and light-headed, Stowell said. He was treated and released.
Stowell said the house is a total loss due to the fire damage.
Bethel-Tate’s FD was assisted by Williamsburg, Mount Orab and Monroe Township fire departments.