Five Killed in Ohio Trailer Fire

ADA, Ohio -- Five people, including three children, were killed in a house trailer fire in Ada just before dawn today.

Two of the children, girls ages 7 and 6, were students at the village's elementary school, while the third was an infant boy. The girls were in first-grade and kindergarten.

The deceased were identified as: Thomas J. Farkasdi, 39; Shirley Farkasdi, 35; Jessica Farkasdi, 7; Tiffany Farkasdi, 6 and Joseph Farkasdi, 4 1/2 months.

Ada Elementary School was in the process of bringing in grief counselors, according to Ada Police Chief Michael Harnishfeger.

Harnishfeger said the two adults and infant were found dead at the scene. The other two children died after they were taken to Lima Memorial Health System.

The fire occurred at 536 East Lehr Ave. The call came into the fire department at 4:34 a.m. Friday from a motorist who was on his way to work. As of 10 a.m., Harnishfeger said the cause was unknown.

Police and firefighters found the home engulfed in flames when they arrived.

Pelma Rettig, a neighbor, said she heard a knocking noise and went outside to find police banging on the trailer. She yelled to police that there were children inside.

At that time, she said flames were shooting from the trailer. She watched as emergency workers pulled the bodies out of the trailer.

"This is so sad. It's the worst thing I've ever seen in my life," said Rettig.

Neighbors said the family lived in the trailer less than a year. The family was described as poor and struggling to make ends meet. Neighbors said they would take toys over to the children to play with. The father was employed at Taco Bell in Ada, while the mom stayed at home to watch the children.

The state fire marshal's office was on the scene Friday, arriving around 7:50 a.m.

"This is just a terrible, terrible tragedy," Harnishfeger said.

Lehr Avenue is a dead-end street about four blocks from the village's downtown.

Ada/Liberty Emergency Services was assisted by Alger fire, McGuffey fire, Alger EMS, B-K-P Ambulance and the Hardin County Sheriff's Office.

Republished with permission of The Lima News.