No criminal charges will be filed involving the deadly fire that occurred Sept. 1 in Westerville.
The fire in the first block of Allview Road resulted in the death of 17-year-old Hannah Sarver. Three other people who were inside the house at the time escaped the blaze, although two required treatment for injuries. Westerville fire units were called about 5:10 a.m. and arrived by 5:15 to find a "pretty intense" fire, according to fire chief Brian Miller.
After investigations by the city’s police and fire units, Westerville Division of Fire officials announced in a press release Nov. 9 that no charges would be filed.
According to the release, the police investigation determined the cause of the fire “did not meet standards for criminal charges." Investigators determined the fire started in the kitchen from unattended cooking.
In October, Lt. Charles Chandler said a team was investigating the fire and was waiting on the results of several tests being “analyzed by law enforcement agencies that have expertise and analysis computers available.”
Chandler said the department treats “any death ... as suspicious,” and the investigation was not triggered by a specific finding.
“Whether there’s an investigation or not is dictated by the ORC and whether a crime occurred or not,” he said. “Our investigation is to gather the facts to come to the conclusion of whether there was or was not a crime.”