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‘I knew it was my husband’: One dead, one hurt in Dayton apartment fire

Published: Saturday, January 25, 2020 @ 3:16 AM
Updated: Sunday, January 26, 2020 @ 6:24 AM

One dead, one injured in Dayton apartment fire

One person is dead and another was hurt in a fire in an apartment building in the 300 block of Grafton Avenue early Saturday morning, according to Dayton Fire Department Director and Chief Jeff Lykins. 

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Lykins said that fire crews arrived on scene after a report of a structure fire, and found heavy fire on the third floor. 

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He said that there were also a lot of people at their windows in the burning building, who the fire department rescued using ladders from the outside. Meanwhile, fire crews made an interior search. 

One person was confirmed dead on the third floor, and another was injured and taken to the hospital. 

Lykins added that fire crews also removed oxygen from the building. 

“Crews really did a phenomenal job; very proud of them,” the director said. 

Resident David Ray said that at 3 a.m. he heard pounding on his door, and opened the door to find police  waking up all the residents.

After going outside, Ray described black smoke billowing from a window, and seeing people on the third floor hanging out of their windows, with firefighters telling them not to jump. 

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News Center 7’s Monica Castro spoke to Raymond Russell, who told us that he was the man who was hurt in the fire, and his husband was the man who died. 

Castro spoke to Russell over the phone from his hospital bed, where he said he is recovering from a broken ankle that he got jumping out of the window to escape the fire. 

Unfortunately, he said that his partner was likely overcome by the smoke. 

“They said one didn’t make it and I knew that it was my husband. And I didn’t want to leave there,” he said. 

Russell said that the fire began after he plugged in his battery charger and it exploded. 

“I went out to the living room and there were sparks coming from the battery. I pulled it out of the plug and ran for a fire extinguisher, there wasn't one in the hallway,” he said. 

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Russell told us that he was trying to get his partner to the window so they could escape. 

“I was hanging from the window and hoping he was going to come right behind me. And then it was like I see him collapse,” he said.

A fire investigator is working to determine the cause of the fire, while the Red Cross is aiding residents displaced by the fire.