Fire Kills One In Cincinnati - Could The Right Smoke Detector Made a Difference?

Attorney Serving Cincinnati, Mason, Hamilton & Nearby Areas in Ohio

A fire on New Year's Day 2013 in a house on 2824 Digby Avenue in Cincinnati has caused the death of Chad  Kohls and seriously injured Ellen Garner.

Chad  Kohls and Ellen Garner were sleeping on the third floor when the fire started shortly before 7 AM. The fire began on the second floor. The news reports sourced the Cincinnati fire department as saying the cause of the fire was a space heater placed too close to bedding on the second floor. Garner is still in critical condition.

On one of the news broadcasts the words smoke inhalation were used. It appears that very little damage was done to the house and that the fire was confined to a small area on the second floor. Other people in the house were able to escape without injury. It was stated that the flames were confined to the second floor but smoke went into the third floor described as an attic.


Could Smoke Detectors Made a Difference

In all the news reports that I read or watched no mention was made of smoke detectors. Today 1/13/2013 I saw an article on the interent about the fire that killed Chad Kohls posted by the Fox 19 digital staff.  It stated in part, "  Crews at the scene told our reporter that there were working smoke detectors in the home." The article did not say what kind of smoke detectors they were ionic or photoelectric, nor did the article say if they had gone off.

My guess is the smoke detectors did not go off. That's stating the obvious or Chad Kohls would probably be alive today and Ellen Garner would be fine. So that leads me to believe that these were ionic smoke detectors. Why. Click on this link here and watch this video . It will shock you. It shocked seasoned firefighters. (the rest of this article was previously written, but I thought it was important to amend this post and reemphasize the importance of a photoelectric vs ionic smoke detector)


Smoke detectors are mandatory by city of Cincinnati ordinance. What many people do not know is that there are two types of detectors,  photoelectric and ionic. Ionic are more apt to catch flame and apt not to go off in time when there is smoke. There are known cases where people have died of smoke inhalation and the ionic smoke detector did not go off.

An article by fox 19 is instructive on the issues surrounding smoke detectors, in terms of the efficay of the kind to use. This is totally separate and apart from the obligations for maintenance and care for furnishing and maintaining smoke detectors. The city of Cincinnati does not specify what detector kind should be used. It is apparent from reading the article by Fox 19 that photoelectric smoke detectors are the way to go.

Possibly they would have made a difference. Of course this is pure speculation on my part as the articles and reports I reviewed did not mention anything about the detectors. Hopefully a full investigation will be done and the smoke detectors will be preserved.


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