Update: Neighbors React to Fatal House Fire

By: Todd Baucher, Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Todd Baucher, Cathleen Moxley Email

Update: 10/12/09

The names and cause of death have been released for three victims of a weekend house fire.

Captain Tim Flinn with the Parkersburg Fire Department says 26-year-old Jesse Hayes, 21-year-old Amanda McClain and her son, 11-month-old Conner Joy all died of smoke inhalation.

The three were living in a home on Camden Avenue that caught fire Sunday morning.

Neighbors say they were just getting to know the couple and the little boy who just moved into the neighborhood.

"I stopped and introduced myself. They told me their names. I told them our names and welcomed them to the neighborhood," Jennie Stringer, a neighbor, said.

"She said she liked it and that there were kids around for her kids to play with, and that it was just quieter," Angel Stringer, a neighbor, said.

Family, friends and neighbors have set up a memorial in front of the home.

They're also planning a fundraiser to help pay funeral costs. A yard sale/bake sale will be held at 909 Camden Avenue on Saturday, October 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Captain Flinn says the cause of the fire remains under investigation.


The victims are known to be two adults and a child. When firefighters arrived shortly after 5-30 a-m, they found the entire structure in flames.

"It was fully envolved," says Parkersburg Fire Chief Eric Chichester, "and it caught the exterior of the garage right beside it and got it on fire."

An investigation continues, but by afternoon, inspectors believed that items found to be too close to an electric heat source may have been what started the fire.

"From the framing of the structure and some paneling inside," fire inspector Tim Flinn says, "there were quite a few combustibles that aided the fire to spread."

Captain Flinn also said no smoke detectors were found inside the home. In spite of some obstacles, fire fighters were able to put out the blaze quickly.

"We had a lot of power lines down in the middle of the road where they were at," Chief Chichester added. "There were a lot of extenuating circumstances on this, but they did a very good job. And it was quite a distance from the road, too, so that made it a little bit tougher."

But they could not get to the fire quickly enough to save the victims, who, according to preliminary reports, may have died from smoke inhalation.

The names of the victims were not made available Sunday.

The bodies have been taken to the state medical examiner's office, and Captain Flinn says an autopsy could be performed late Monday afternoon.

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  • by anonomous Location: ohio on Oct 18, 2009 at 09:11 AM
    first off when a land lord does supply smoke detectors nine out of ten times the batteries are stolen for toys or taken out when they go off needlessly and if you own your home who buys them you do and you ought to be in a landlords shoes and see the destruction most renters do although i am sorry for every ones loss and the tragedy that happened get real take responsability for our own actions
  • by Jeff and Melissa Location: Belpre on Oct 13, 2009 at 09:17 PM
    Jesse we love and miss you. You were always smiling and always there for us no matter what the cause. You are not just a cousin but more like a brother! You were taken away from us way too soon, but we know that you are still with us everyday in our hearts and one day we will see you again. I still smile when I think of the time at grandmas when you didnt recognize Melissa and got caught checkin her out, then came and told me u were sorry. We still laugh abt that. You are a HERO, you ALWAYS have been and ALWAYS will be. You will always be a part of our lives, we love and miss you so very much!!!
  • by to soon Location: ohio on Oct 13, 2009 at 03:11 PM
    I want to say i love you and miss you rooster, i know you to well and not surpise that you did what you did it was just like you to think of someone but yourself first you are a hero and we will make sure all know what you did. miss and love you. I WILL SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE SOME DAY till then party on rooster this beer for you.
  • by lost my buddy Location: belpre on Oct 13, 2009 at 02:54 PM
    I want to say I love you and I miss you. You will always be my fun rooster kid. Everytime I hear a rooster I will think of you!!! I am getting a tat in memory of ROOSTER. Jess will always remain a HERO in our lives no matter what.
  • by joey Location: belpre on Oct 13, 2009 at 02:35 PM
    jessie was my cousin and what a great cousin he was im gonna miss him so much because i loved him and we were very close so i love you jessie
  • by Rena Location: Ohio on Oct 13, 2009 at 02:11 PM
    Debi Rogers Myers is the landlords sister so all she wants to do is try to put the blame on the poor people who lost their lives in that house. No one has said they put flammables near the electric heater, it was said that "items" were too close. A cardboard box, which people usually use when they're moving, could catch fire from a couple feet away from a space heater and a lot of people don't realize that or are too busy with the stresses of moving to notice that it's too close. This landlord is a slumlord and should be prosecuted. Not only was the house not fit for people to live in but now his family is trying to say it was the fault of the people who died. It was an accident, but they might have survived if there were smoke alarms.
  • by duhhh Location: parkersburg on Oct 13, 2009 at 01:53 PM
    Cant you ppl have some compassion here!!! debi myers you dont know these ppl like I do. duh they aint dumb they were no different then me, I have mine sittin in the middle of the floor. The kitchen in that house is small so any flammables would have been under the sink. ummmm, it got to warm and caught on fire. think before you ppl speak. stop runnin your mouths before you know the facts. Yell sue sue all you want but that dont mean the family will do it. get the hair out of your butts. Let the friends and family mourn and say there goodbyes without idiots saying negative stuff.
  • by butch Location: williamstown on Oct 13, 2009 at 01:04 PM
    If the house was rented under HUD they were supposed to have smoke detectors in every bedroom and kitchen area that is what i am told so if it wasn't HUD rented the resposiblity rest with the tenants
  • by megan david and Jane Wilson Location: coolville ohio on Oct 13, 2009 at 11:35 AM
    hey jesse i live in chicago and mom and dad told me about what happened im glad we are friends and hope someday to met you in heaven. dad will miss you to you and Jay always took up for me in school while anothers put me down and you could always cheer me up it was you and jay and my mom and dad to tell me never to give up in my acting and to live my dreams i moved to chicago 6 months ago and mom and dad said you came over one day and stayed all day with jay and you asked about me and to tell me to never give up to show all the kids that use to laugh at me that i could make it and that you where very proud of me well the first movie is out i did on dvd and the theather one called red river comes out in 2010 it will be sad that you will not be here to see me on the screen. but in heaven with god you can see everything. thanks jesse for being a good friend to me and my family we will miss you and remember all the good times we had like my 16 birthday party at the martins house . love meg
  • by Debi Rogers Myers Location: Ohio on Oct 13, 2009 at 10:58 AM
    didnt those people know not to put flammables near an electric heater ? they are as much to blame as anyone this was a terrible tragedy and all anyone can think of is sueing
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