Homeowners Won't be Charged for Ohio Firefighters' Deaths

April 15, 2008
The couple will likely face drug charges for marijuana plants allegedly found growing in the basement.


Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters said the owners of a home where two firefighters died earlier this month in a fire will not face charges in their deaths.

Deters said homeowners Matt and Sharyn Cones would likely face drug charges for five marijuana plants allegedly found growing in a hidden room in the basement.

Capt. Robin Broxterman and firefighter Brian Schira died April 4 when they fell into a burning basement.

Sources have told News 5 that the homeowners were growing orchids and marijuana in the basement and that an electrical problem in the basement sparked the fire.

Deters said the fire started in an oscillating fan in the orchid grow room, and that the room where the pot was being grown was on a different circuit.

"There is absolutely nothing to prove (the marijuana grow room) was a cause or a contributing factor to the fire," Deters said. "If we had any form of causation where this illegal activity would have caused the fire, these individuals would have faced manslaughter charges."

Grow Room Not Related To Fatal Fire, Deters Says

Prosecutors will likely present drug charges to a grand jury later this week, Deters said.

"While this tragic situation has left our community grief stricken, we must still evaluate the situation and apply the appropriate law," Deters said. "Sometimes the law does not correspond with the enormity of the tragedy."

Some of firefighters who worked alongside the fallen pair said they were relieved that no charges would be filed against the Coneses in connection with the fire.

"It can't bring Robin and Brian back to us, and continuing to harbor bad feelings or ill will toward anyone else, it's not my style," said Colerain Township firefighter Matt Drennan. "I can't speak for the rest of the department, but that's not what we're about."

Copyright 2008 by WLWT.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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