Coroner’s office identifies 5 people found dead in debris of Dayton house fire

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office has announced the identities of the five people who were found dead earlier this month after a fire in a vacant house in west Dayton.

The five are:

  • Brittany Lee Alsup, 33
  • Chrisinda Jo Ray Freeman, 40
  • Christopher Hermann, 41
  • Andrew Miller, 30
  • Laura Sears, 37.

No official causes of death have been determined, the coroner’s office said.

The five were found dead March 8 in the debris of a vacant house in the 500 block of North Broadway Street. The house is near West Riverview Avenue, just north of Wolf Creek.

The fire was reported around 4 a.m. at the large two-story house. On arrival, responding fire crews began an interior search but had to back out due to intense fire and concerns about a collapse, said Deputy Chief Mike Rice of the Dayton Fire Department.

The first body was discovered that morning after Dayton Fire Department crews extinguished the fire and had begun working on an emergency demolition due to the structural instability of the building.

Four more victims were found in what the fire department called “one of the most tragic fire incidents for loss of life in the history of the city of Dayton.”

Because of the building’s collapse during the fire, it was not clear on which floor the deceased people had been.

The house where the bodies were found was vacant and had not had gas service since 2013. However, neighbors reported seeing people going in and out of the building.

Dayton Police Department homicide detectives have been investigating the deaths, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The fire spread to an adjacent house, which also was destroyed. Crews ordered an emergency demolition of that house as well, and a third house sustained damage.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury during operations.