Second Student Dies After OH Off-Campus Housing Fire

By Ed Comeau

A 20-year-old University of Cincinnati student has died after being injured in a New Year’s Day fire in an off-campus house. Another student succumbed to injuries from the fire on January 7.

Ellen Garner, a fashion design major from the Tipp City, Ohio, died today from injuries she received in the fire. Chad Kohls, 20, also a student at the University of Cincinnati who was in the College of Business and from Dayton, Ohio, also died.

The fire was reported at 6:50 a.m. on New Year’s Day at 2824 Digby Avenue. On arrival, fire crews found a working fire on the second floor of a three-story, multi-family building with multiple reports of people trapped on the third floor. According to the fire department, following an aggressive interior attack, four occupants were rescued and three others had been able to escape from the fire prior to the fire department’s arrival. Three people were transported to a hospital.

The fire, which was brought under control in 10 minutes, was determined to have been caused by a space heater being placed too close to bedding material on the second floor.

This is the third fatal campus-related fire of the 2012-2013 academic year, with five people having been killed in fires. Since 2000, 160 people have died in campus-related fires across the nation.  More information is available on the Current Fire Information page of Campus Firewatch including a map, compilation and Information Sheet.

An in-depth article that looks at the code and prevention issues relating to this fire was written on by John Faherty.

More details on the fire will be provided by Campus Firewatch as they become available and will be posted at under “Breaking News” and on Twitter @campusfirewatch and Facebook


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