UC student dies from injuries sustained in University Heights fire

CINCINNATI - A University of Cincinnati student who was was injured in a fire near campus on New Year's Day has died.

Chad Kohls, 21, died Monday afternoon as a result of his injuries, according to a statement released by his family.

On Jan. 1, firefighters responded to a report of a fire that broke out in a three-story, multi-family structure on Digby Avenue in University Heights around 6:30 a.m.

Three occupants managed to safely exit the building, and another four were rescued by firefighters.

Emergency crews transported three people to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to be treated for injuries, one with minor injuries and two with critical injuries.

Both Kohls and Ellen Garner, 20, also a UC student, were identified as the critically injured.

Firefighters later determined an electric space heater that was placed too close to bedding material in a second floor bedroom caused the fire.

Kohls' family released the following statement Monday night:

At approximately 4:30 pm today our beautiful son, Chad, passed from this life to the next. Chad had a huge heart. He was a wonderful person who loved people loved us and we loved him very much in return. We appreciate all the prayers and support and ask that the media please honor our request for privacy at this time to allow us to grieve with our loved ones. Thank you.

Garner remains in critical condition at UCMC. Her family also released a statement following the news of Kohls' death.

The family of Ellen Garner, the 20 year old UC student, who was critically injured in the January 1st house fire near the University of Cincinnati campus, wishes to thank President Santa Ono and the University of Cincinnati for their kind and generous support of our family during this stressful time as well as the medical staff at UC Medical Center.  We also wish to thank our friends and family and the many people who have offered prayer and support in our time of need. We ask that the media please respect our privacy during this difficult time. Thank you.

Stay with 9 On Your Side and WCPO.com for updates as they become available.


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