The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

March 13, 2013

From nursing home to prison

Ex-Park Haven resident gets 8 years for his part in fire

(Continued)

JEFFERSON —

Miller said her client dropped out of school in 10th grade, struggled with learning disabilities and was in special education classes. He also takes medication for an array of health problems.

The prosecutor showed the judge photos of the fatal burns Warrens suffered in the fire and the damage done to Park Haven.

“Thirty-eight people lived in Park Haven; this was their home,” Thomas said. “The defendant took all that away from them ... people there lost their employment.”

Lt. Ron Deemer, fire prevention officer for the Ashtabula City Fire Department, said he believed “the sentencing should be at least as severe as what Keith Bilbrey got.”

The judge agreed, giving the former Park Haven resident eight years behind bars and five years of post-release control. He also can never own a firearm.

“Your actions had an impact on others,” Mackey said. “I can’t imagine anything more fearful ... to be engulfed in flames. They must have been terror stricken.”

Park Haven, 4533 Park Ave., Ashtabula, closed within months of the fire after being found in violation of seven federal guidelines, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The deficiencies, with included failure to provide smoke detectors and written plans for emergencies, were based on investigations at the facility, said Tessie Pollock, ODH spokeswoman.

The fire happened at 8:37 p.m. March 4 in room 18 on the second floor, according to the Ashtabula Fire Department’s report.

Warrens died at the MetroHealth Burn Care Center. The death was ruled accidental, according to the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s report.

Four other people were hospitalized after the fire, and two people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

The nursing home is going to be auctioned off at 11 a.m. March 21.

 

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