Authorities are trying to determine the cause of a fire at a mobile home on Old 21 Road Saturday morning that claimed the life of a Newcomerstown man and sent another man to a Columbus hospital.
Aaron J. Gardner, 19, was pronounced dead at the scene of the fire which was first reported to the Guernsey County Sheriff's Office via an emergency 911 call at 6:44 a.m.
The identity of the hospitalized man, believed to be in his 20s, was not released as of press time Saturday night. He reportedly suffered from smoke inhalation.
Liberty Volunteer Fire Department Chief Larry Beatenhead said four individuals escaped from the fire that destroyed the mobile home.
"The roof was already down on the frame when we arrived," said Beatenhead. "It had been burning for quite a while before somebody saw the flames."
According to the chief, one of the men inside the mobile home awoke to find the fire and tried to get all the other individuals out.
"He couldn't find the one guy (Gardner)," said Beatenhead.
Gardner was reportedly found lying on the floor.
Guernsey County Coroner Dr. Janet Brockwell said he died as a result of the fire.
Multiple calls were received reporting the blaze, including several 911 calls from neighbors.
Firefighters from the Liberty department along with mutual aid from the Port Washington and Newcomerstown fire departments, responded to the scene.
Just minutes after the first firefighters arrived on scene, the Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office reported receiving a call advising at least four people were inside the mobile home.
The injured man was initially taken to Southeastern Med before being taken to The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus. It is believed he was the one who awoke and was able to get the others out of the mobile home.
Firefighters said the cause of the fire was listed as "undetermined."
They are hampered in determining a cause due to the extensive damage to the structure.
The Ohio State Fire Marshal's Office is assisting with the investigation being conducted by the Liberty fire department.