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Fatal Fire in Hillsboro

HILLSBORO, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- The fire began just after 5:30 Tuesday morning in a tiny wooden home in Highland county.

That home on Bigelow street in Hillsboro is where 15 year old Hazel Morris died. 

Local 12's Rich Jaffe says while fire crews were on the scene in just a matter of minutes, there was nothing they could do to save the little girl.

Hazel Morris was named for her great grandmothers, she'll be remembered though for how she died.

Hazel's dad told Jaffe that around five thirty Tuesday morning he had left for work, when he got a phone call that his house was on fire.

At 5:37 both his 13 year old son, and a neighbor called 911.

The neighbor told 911, "There's a fire... a house fire at 302 Bigelow Street...please hurry it's burning bad..."

"there's what?" said the dispatcher.

"A fire a house fire...302 Bigelow...yes there's two people trapped inside..."

"Ok we'll get them down there." replied dispatch.

Morris' son said when he woke up he saw a box fan on fire.  He woke his sister then ran out of the house to call 911 from the neighbors.

When he came back the fire was out of control.

Firefighters were on the scene in as little as four minutes but Hazel was still inside.

Michael Grooms grew up with her older brother.

He says she was a, "Good girl...good school girl...good personality...watched her grow up...she was more family than she was a's just bad it all happened like this to her."

When the first four firefighters arrived on the scene they tried to make an entry from the front of the house, but the fire was so intense they couldn't do it.

When additional crews arrived they made an entry from the rear of the house and that's when they found the little girls body.    

Fire investigators say they believe Hazel was found in a rear bedroom.

There was so much fire and smoke when they entered the tiny home, it made even finding her body difficult.

Michael Grooms says, "When I heard about it this morning I sit there and I thought don't tell me that because I know a lot of people with that last name, then when I got to the church and read the paper I just all hit me at once...I went it couldn't be possible way but it happened." 

The state Fire Marshal took control of the scene this morning.

No official word yet on the cause of the fire.



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