Thursday, October 28, 2004
Fire burns home; owner found dead
By Janice Morse
Enquirer staff writer
SOUTH LEBANON - Firefighters discovered the owner of a burning home lying dead just inside the front door Wednesday.
Firefighters and investigators gather in front of a home that caught fire on North Main Street in South Lebanon Wednesday. The homeowner, James A. Taulbee, was found dead inside the front door.
The Enquirer/GLENN HARTONG
Investigators are working to determine whether the 49-year-old man died from the fire or another cause.
James A. "Butch" Taulbee Jr. was dead at the scene in the 200 block of North Main Street. An autopsy is set for today.
"I was just hoping to God he wasn't in there," said neighbor Lucy Gambrel, 30, who called 911 after her boyfriend saw smoke billowing from Taulbee's home. She said Taulbee was a father of two who lived alone with his Great Dane, Duke. The dog survived.
Authorities declined to say if the fire was considered suspicious. The Ohio Fire Marshal's Office and others are investigating - standard procedure in a fatal fire, said Fire Chief Gary Arnold.
Firefighters were called to the home at 1 p.m. Arnold was the first to arrive, just a minute later.
By then, flames lapped to the top of the two-story wood frame house, Arnold said.
Gambrel's boyfriend, Bryan Edwards, 39, said that he ran to look for Taulbee, who was a former roofer who would lend ladders to him.
"The flames were blowing the windows out," Edwards said. "I was yelling, 'Butch! Butch! Are you in there?' "
He got no response.
Unclear if anyone was in the fire, firefighters attempted to go inside, the chief said.
"They tried to push open the front door - and that's when they found him," Arnold said. "I've been in the fire service 30 years, and this is what you hate to have happen."
A Deerfield Township firefighter, whose name was not released, hurt his knee while pushing through the door. He was taken to Bethesda North Hospital for treatment.
If Taulbee died as a result of the fire, he would be Warren County's first fire fatality since 1989.
Election 2004 page
Gay issue foes' names not listed
Butler Co. race 3-way hot
2 districts hope to hike income tax
Judge blocks GOP's voter challenges
Evendale seeks charter change
Fairfield teachers take freeze
Filmmaker Moore brings anti-GOP show to town
Northwest levy fight bitter
Region invests millions in race
Draft is 'sleeper issue'
Poll workers preparing for additional scrutiny
Go to polls, soldier pleads
Voters to decide fire chief's status
Kings tries Q&A to sway voters
Gloves off in last debate for Congress
Fletcher's way to restore voting rights criticized
Some stations to pull gay-amendment spot
Six council members defend Groob
Senate candidates appeal to the faithful
Panel urges giving leftover flu vaccine to health workers
Mom wants to adopt daughter she lost
Fire burns home; owner found dead
IN THE TRISTATE
County kicks in $900,000 toward Anderson connector
Fumes at Country Day sicken 11 first-graders
Lakota won't fight district
Local news briefs
Police talks under way
Public safety briefs
New community planning chief introduced
Two Mason feature writers are national semifinalists
Err on the side of openness, Ohio attorney general says
Two surgeons to train others to implant disc
Township seeks uniform zoning
Tax plan is a fraud, government says
Bronson: Guilty as sin? Rapist insists on DNA test
Good Things Happening
John H. Payne, 89, 'surgeon's surgeon'
Yahoo! Louisville a stop on Dew tour
Bridge work hurts shops
Kentucky news briefs
Rosemary Clooney's home to be museum
Gillespie to be honored with musical tribute
N. Ky. news briefs
Worker slams door on would-be robber
Exotic club fees delayed
Airport to join inquiry into worker's maiming
Swimmers in sync
Butlers give $1M to United Way