One man is dead after a house fire in Akron on Thursday evening.
Firefighters responded to a house in the 200 block of Rhodes Avenue around 10:12 p.m.
The man was pulled from the structure and transported to Akron General Medical Center where he later died.
He has been identified as 56-year-old Alvin Watkins.
Two women were also taken to the hospital with help from the Akron Police Department. The Red Cross has been contacted.
"[Neighbors banged on the door and helped ot get other family members out," said Sierjie Lash, spokeswoman with the Akron Fire Department.
While no cause has been determined at this point in the investigation, Lash said neighbors had told officials that the electricity was turned off and candles were being used in the home.
"That's what neighbors we're told," said Lash. "That candles were used in the absence of electricity."
FirstEnergy confirmed that the electricity was turned off due to non-payment, but did not release further details citing privacy concerns.
Lash said this isn't the first time the department responded to a fire where electricity was disconnected at the home. But Lash noted that there are programs available -- on both a state and local level -- that can help individuals and families to prevent their electricity from being turned off.
"We do try and find resources for families so they can have energy and heat assistance so they don't have to find alternate heating methods and lighting methods."
FirstEnergy officials stated the company offer energy assistance programs to customers. The programs include:
Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
Military Deferred Payment Program
Ohio Fuel Fund Grant Program
Project REACH is a program available through several local Salvation Army offices that will help individuals or families pay for their energy bill.
According to Lt. Damon Ferguson of the Akron Fire Department, there were actually two simultaneously reported fires that were called into the department around 10:15 p.m.
The second blaze was reported at 842 North Howard Street. Firefighters put out the flames at the house, but found no one at home.
Both fires are under investigation. No cause has been determined for either case.