Scene of a house fire, reported shortly after midnight at 320 First St. in Butler
Dave Prelosky photo
Butler County Deputy Coroner Larry Barr identified the victim as Paul Jarvis Jr. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
City Fire Chief Nick Ban said firefighters responded to the 300-block of 1st Street shortly after midnight on reports of a fully engulfed fire.
Ban said it is suspected that Jarvis Jr. was attempting to rescue animals from the home and was unable to make it back out.
“There is some concern that the young man went back into the house to retrieve his pets,” Ban said.
Ban said Jarvis Jr. lived with his father, Paul Jarvis Sr., who was not home at the time of the fire.
Matthias Johnson, a next-door neighbor, said Saturday morning that he reported the fire to 911.
Johnson said a friend of Jarvis Jr., who he only knew as Jessie, knocked on his door around midnight seeking a phone.
Johnson said the man told him Jarvis Jr. escaped the home but went back inside to rescue his pets.
Ban said a dog and several guinea pigs made it out of the home but more pets were inside.
Ban said his firefighters arrived within a couple minutes of receiving the call but were met with a heavy blaze.
He said the firefighters were unable to make it more than 10 feet into the home due to the intensity of the fire.
“When we arrived we were unsure whether everyone was out of the house,” Ban said. “We made our best effort to get into the house but were not able to get far because of the flames.”
It is believed the fire started in the first floor kitchen, but quickly spread up through the roof.