PD: House in fatal fire burglarized weeks prior

Posted at 5:43 PM, Dec 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-30 18:56:59-05

HAMILTON, Ohio — When a tripped burglar alarm unknowingly prompted emergency crews to respond to the already in-progress house fire that would later kill Hamilton Firefighter Patrick Wolterman, it wasn’t the first time in recent weeks that alarm had been triggered.

According to police documents, officers responded to the home on Pater Ave. on Nov. 18 after that same alarm was tripped.

Lester Parker, who owns the home, said he lost a number of items that night, including some firearms. He also said wires connecting his ADT security system were cut the night of the suspected burglary.

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“I had a break-in a while back where they cut my ADT lines and broke in and stole a bunch of shotguns and guns and a bunch of stuff I had,” Parker told WCPO.

It was that incident that made Parker and his wife, Bertha, nervous to leave town Sunday night, Lester said: The couple had planned a trip to Las Vegas for their 45th wedding anniversary.

They left on that trip just nine hours before the alarm would trip again, prompting the response where officers would discover the fire already burning in the home.

According to Hamilton police, investigators have found no indication that Monday's fire began as a result of criminal activity.