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9-year-old girl, 38-year-old mom die in Geauga County house fire

Upon their arrival, authorities 'encountered significant smoke and fire conditions.'

GEAUGA COUNTY, Ohio — EDITOR'S NOTE: 3News previously reported that one of the victim's ages was 34. On Friday morning, Hambden Fire Chief Scott Hildenbrand confirmed the victim's age was 38.

Two people have died in an overnight house fire on Taylor Wells Road in Geauga County.

3News has learned the victims have been identified as 9-year-old Chloe Sharp and her 38-year-old Katrina Heiden. 

Two other people -- a man and a 7-year-old boy -- were taken to a hospital. Their condition is unknown.

According to Hambden Township Fire Chief Scott Hildenbrand, the man and boy escaped through a window. The husband tried to save the wife, but was unsuccessful.

"It’s very traumatic anytime you have kids involved and they don’t survive, especially when you have kids of your own. It’s very difficult,” Hildenbrand said.

Chardon fire officials, who also responded to the scene, tell 3News that a neighbor alerted authorities after seeing flames coming from the home.

At 0224 hrs this morning, Hambden Fire Department along with automatic mutual aid from The Chardon Fire Department,...

Posted by Hambden Fire Department on Thursday, September 8, 2022

A Facebook post from the Hambden Fire Department says multiple crews from surrounding communities responded to the scene around 2:30 a.m. Deputies arrived at the house first, but couldn't get through the thick smoke that filled the home.

"Crews immediately entered the home to search for victims," according to the Hambden Fire Department's post. "Two victims were located and transported to University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center where they succumbed to their injuries."

The fire is being investigated by the Geauga County Fire investigation Unit and the State Fire Marshal. Hours after fire officials left the scene, they had to return as smoke came out of the roof.

"It started smoking up in the attic, so we came back to make sure it was out," Hildenbrand explained.

3News has learned that the 9-year-old girl was a student at Berkshire Local Schools. Superintendent John Stoddard released the below statement to parents:

On behalf of everyone in the District please join me and the Board of Education in extending our condolences to the members of our school family who unexpectedly and tragically experienced the loss of life recently. In light of this tragedy, the Berkshire Local Schools will be providing supplemental grief support through our school counselors, as well as the crisis intervention team at Ravenwood Health, during the remainder of the week. We ask that you respect the privacy of the family and close friends as they mourn.

Once again, please join me and the Board of Education in extending our deepest sympathy to the members of our school family who are experiencing this tragic loss of life. 

Meanwhile, Hildenbrand stressed the importance of having working smoke detectors in your home. It's unclear if the home on Taylor Wells Road had them. That will be part of the investigation.

"We would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims involved in this incident," the Hambden Township Fire Department added in its social media post. 

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Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in an unrelated fire story on Sept. 2, 2022.

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