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One man dead in West Chester house fire

West Chester house fire
west chester fire.PNG
Posted at 6:07 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 15:23:22-04

WEST CHESTER, Ohio — One man has died after a house fire in West Chester Monday afternoon.

Fire crews were called to the 8300 block of Colonial Mill Manor just after 4 p.m. for a report of a house fire with a person trapped inside.

Firefighters quickly found 73-year-old Lawrence Debo Sr. on the first floor of the home, according to Chief Rick Prinz.

“Family in the neighborhood that tried to put out the fire and get him out. They were unsuccessful due to the amount of heat and smoke that was inside the house," Prinz said.

Fire officials are now looking into the possibility that an oxygen tank inside played a role in accelerating the Monday afternoon fire.

Prinz said it was the first fatal house fire in West Chester in more than a decade.

“We work hard and train hard to make sure we can be efficient to make a rescue, and sometimes it's not possible. That gets to our psyche when we can't complete our mission,” Prinz said.

The county coroner and the state fire marshal arrived on scene Monday evening. The fire marshal's office will work with West Chester Fire investigators to determine the cause of the blaze.

Prinz said one West Chester Fire investigator also had to be taken to the hospital for a blood sugar issue and is doing "fine."