AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A couple and their five children died Monday in an early morning house fire.
A relative identified those killed as 35-year-old Dennis Huggins, 38-year-old Angela Boggs, 14-year-old Jered Boggs, 6-year-old Daisia Huggins, 5-year-old Kylle Huggins, 3-year-old Alivia Huggins and 11-month-old Cameron Huggins. The family dog also was killed.
Dennis Huggins 20-year-old son, Tyennys Huggins, said he tried to contact family members to say he would be stopping by Monday and became alarmed when he couldn’t reach anyone. He then received a call from a cousin about the fire.
“I just saw my dad last night, and I feel like I’m going to see him tomorrow,” he said. “I feel like I’m going to see him later on.”
Firefighters found the two-story home in Akron, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Cleveland, engulfed in flames when they arrived shortly before 3 a.m. Monday. The house sat at the top of a winding street in a neighborhood of mostly two-story clapboard houses.
The Akron Fire Department is working with the state fire marshal’s office and local police to determine how the fire started, fire Chief Clarence Tucker said. A fire marshal’s official said investigators used a dog while collecting evidence but wouldn’t say what that evidence was.
The fire occurred a block from a home where a man and a woman died in an April 2016 fire investigated as a potential arson, but there was no indication the fires were related.
Tucker said it couldn’t be determined whether the home had working smoke detectors because of the damage Monday. Tyennys Huggins said it did.
He said his father was an electrician and his father’s girlfriend was a longtime dialysis technician. The home was titled in both of their names, county records show.
Dennis Huggins’ brother, 45-year-old Tony Huggins, stood near the fire-ravaged home Monday evening with his wife, Damonica Huggins, fighting back tears. He said his brother and Angela Boggs loved their children very much, describing her as “very sweet, soft-spoken and gentle.”
“It’s just a tough loss right now,” Tony Huggins said. “That was my baby brother. I practically raised him.”
Tyennys Huggins said he stopped by the family’s home nearly every day and helped his father renovate it. He described his father as “amazing.”
“He’s my favorite person on the planet, my best friend,” Huggins said. “I’m forever gonna miss him.”
Mayor Daniel Horrigan extended his sympathies to victims’ families.