Flowers and a flag are in front of 614 Poplar St. in Fostoria where two people died and a third was injured in a fire Monday. Authorities have determined that the blaze was intentionally set.
FOSTORIA — The victims of a Fostoria house arson that killed two people and injured one were apparently reluctant to leave the burning house because they were afraid they could be attacked, relatives of the Fostoria man killed in the fire said.
“With his being deaf, he was terrified. ... He was afraid to get out because he didn’t know who could be out there when he got out,” said Nancy Marker, 68, of Fostoria, the mother of victim Danny Marker, 48.
“He kept his doors locked all the time, and he kept all the windows closed. He was just recovering after [someone] broke in, beat him up. They broke his nose and broke his TV,” she went on to say. “We had to barricade the back door because they kept breaking in and taking things.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Fostoria fire‘s mourners, victims
Ms. Marker said Danny Marker was hearing-impaired and partially blind. Shane Marker, 40, also of Fostoria, her other son, said the other two victims were also hearing-impaired, and were visiting from the Ohio School for the Deaf in Columbus. Both women are about the same age as his brother, he said.
Besides Danny Marker, the fire early Monday at 614 S. Poplar St. killed Tara Lynn Vance and injured Dana D. Weatherhall, according to complaints filed at the court. Mr. Marker and Ms. Vance were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Fostoria fire department. Ms. Weatherhall suffered burns and was taken by helicopter to ProMedica Toledo Hospital, where her condition was listed as fair Tuesday.
The fire was ruled an arson. The three Fostoria people charged with setting the fire were arraigned Tuesday in Fostoria Municipal Court.
Bond was set at $2 million each for Shey Weiker, 31, of 151 Taft Blvd., and Timothy Hall, 20, of 126 Findlay St., and at $1.5 million for Charles Schaeffer, 44, also of the Taft Boulevard address. The court did allow the three to be released by posting 10 percent of the bond, but they didn’t use it and they all remained in the Seneca County jail Tuesday.
They’re due back in court June 3. All three have asked for court-appointed attorneys.
Shane Marker, who remained outside the courthouse after the arraignment, said Ms. Weiker is his ex-wife with whom he has an 11-year-old daughter.
Ms. Weiker was charged with four counts aggravated arson, two counts aggravated murder, and one count each of attempted aggravated murder and tampering with evidene.
Mr. Schaeffer was charged with four counts complicity to commit aggravated arson, two counts of complicity to commit aggravated murder, and one count of complicity to commit attempted aggravated murder.
Mr. Hall was charged with four counts of complicity to commit aggravated arson, two counts of complicity to commit aggravated murder, and one count each of complicity to commit attempted aggravated murder and complicity to tamper with evidence.
LaMont Easter Allen, 45, of Fostoria said he happened to be driving in the 600 block of South Poplar Street at about 3 a.m. When he stopped for a traffic light, Mr. Easter Allen said he saw the house fire with no one around.
“I got out of the truck and was trying to call 911 when I heard a lady holler,” Mr. Easter Allen said. “Then I saw a cop pulling up. ... Then I heard somebody calling for help at the back of the house. But when we called out, she couldn’t hear us ... ”
“When we got around to the front of the house, she was lying on the ground and had a cut on her arm. She must have jumped out of the window. It was terrible. It was terrible. It was like something out of a nightmare,” he said.
The official causes of the victims’ deaths were pending autopsy results. Dr. Mark Akers, the Seneca County coroner, could not be reached for comment.
The fire was under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s office, which released no additional information Tuesday.
Fostoria, which straddles Hancock, Seneca, Wood counties, is about 35 miles southeast of Toledo.