The Ohio State Fire Marshal's investigator has spent two
days sifting through the rubble of a fatal fire in Somerton that claimed a woman's life on Sunday.
Investigators say 73-year-old Carol Stottler was found dead just inside the front door of her two-story frame farmhouse on State Route 26. Stottler called Belmont County 911 early Sunday morning, and the dispatcher thought Stottler said she had already gotten out, but when firefighters arrived, they discovered she was not outside after all.
In light of this information, Fire Chief Dennis Wilcox advises that if you discover a fire, gather up the family and pets, and get out. And he said once you're out, don't go back in for any reason.
Officials say they still have not determined the cause of the fire, but they say it was accidental, not foul play.
Stottler was the
widow of the late Nelson Stottler, a long-time deputy with the Belmont
County Sheriff's Department. There were no pets in the house.