Parole denied for man guilty in ’85 fatal fire


The Ohio Parole Board has declined to release a former Toledo man convicted in the deaths of seven people in a 1985 fire in Perrysburg Heights.

Orville Wheeler, Jr., 69, is to remain in prison where he is serving 15 to 200 years for a fire that killed Awilda Maddox, 69; Awilda’s son, Curtis Maddox, Jr., 33, and his five children who ranged in age from 7 to 10.

The parole board previously denied parole for Rhoda Maddox, 64, who pleaded guilty to setting the fire that killed her mother, brother, and nieces and nephews. She said her then-boyfriend Wheeler had convinced her to set the fire and told her how to make it look like an accident.