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AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities have identified the two adults and two girls killed in a fire at a home that apparently lacked smoke detectors, and they're considering whether the rental property's owner should be cited.
Firefighters say an Akron ordinance requires homes there to have working smoke detectors, but investigators haven't found any in the three-story house, where a family of five lived with a friend.
"I believe that we would have a strong case to take to the law department to see if we could move forward with citations," Fire Chief Clarence Tucker told WEWS-TV.
The fire early Saturday killed four people from the family. The Summit County medical examiner identified them as 36-year-old Omar Riley; 33-year-old Shirley Wallis; and two young sisters, 9-year-old Aniyla Riley and 8-year-old Shanice Riley. A 12-year-old girl was revived, and the other woman escaped by jumping from an attic window.
Neighbors told the Akron Beacon Journal that nearby security cameras showed smoke coming from the house around 12:30 a.m. Saturday, nearly an hour before the fire was reported.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Tucker told WEWS-TV that food left on the stove is one possible cause under review.
Meanwhile, firefighters and the American Red Cross planned to canvass nearby homes and install free smoke detectors in any that don't have them, in hopes of avoiding another tragedy.
"We want to make sure those residents in that neighborhood feel safe," Akron fire Lt. Sierjie Lash told the Beacon Journal.
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