The body of an unidentified male victim was found Friday after an early morning fire in the back of a large box truck stored on the property at 3250 Westerville Rd. in Mifflin Township.
According to Mifflin Township, the fire appears to be accidental and may be related to cooking or heating. Local residents reported that a homeless man has been known to frequent the area. The fire and cause of death is still under investigation, but no foul play is suspected at this time. Mifflin Township is awaiting the Franklin County Coroner’s report before completing the investigation.
Columbus Fire Department as well as Mifflin Township Police were originally on scene, and the Franklin County Sheriff, Franklin County Coroner and the Ohio Bureau of Identification & Investigation are all assisting with the investigation.
“While the fire and victim are still being investigated, I would strongly urge residents to work with their local law enforcement if they are aware of any individuals who do not have warm shelter during these remaining weeks of winter,” said Mifflin Fire Chief Fred Kauser. “We never want to learn that someone has lost their life simply because they did not have access to a shelter during the night. We would much rather refer someone to a shelter or support service than see them risk their life to stay warm. It’s possible that this was a preventable tragedy.”
Further information will be released once the cause of the fire is determined and the victim is identified.