Wednesday, Sep 28, 2016
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Kitchen fire kills girl, 2, hurts mom in South Toledo

A kitchen fire in a South Toledo home late Friday night took the life of a 2-year-old girl and injured her mother, authorities said.

Ashanti Simmons of 1107 Harding Drive was taken to the University of Toledo Medical Center, formerly the Medical College of Ohio Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 12:21 a.m. Saturday, Lucas County Coroner Dr. James Patrick said.

A preliminary autopsy indicated that the toddler died of smoke inhalation, Dr. Patrick said. An official cause of death will be made once blood tests for carbon monoxide are completed, which typically takes a few days, he said.

Her mother, Shawntelle Simmons, 28, was resuscitated by paramedics and also taken to the UT Medical Center, police said.

A hospital spokesman declined to provide information on the victim, but Anthony Bumphis, a family friend who was boarding up the house last night, said he was told that Ms.

Simmons was alive, sedated, and sleeping.

"They wake her up every four hours or so to pump some more smoke out of her lungs. But she hasn't been able to tell them what happened," Mr. Bumphis said.

Ms. Simmons has a 5-year-old boy who had spent Friday night at his grandmother's home, Mr. Bumphis said.

Toledo Assistant Fire Chief Luis Santiago said crews arrived at the house at about 11:20 p.m. and entered the kitchen through a back door.

They encountered a small fire and soon found Ms. Simmons lying unconscious on the floor in another part of the house.

"Then, a couple of minutes later, the crews searched the second floor and found the girl in her bedroom," Chief Santiago said.

He said the blaze was extinguished quickly and confined to the kitchen. It appeared to have been caused by cooking food that was left unattended, he added.

Firemen saw smoke detectors in the house, Chief Santiago said. The detectors were blinking, indicating they were working.

But firefighters couldn't detect sound, suggesting the alarms may not have not sounded or could have been damaged by heat from the fire, the chief said.

A damage estimate was unavailable.

Lucas County records lists Craig and Guy Simmons as the owners of the two-story, wooden house. A friend of the victim said the house is owned by Ms. Simmons' uncles.

It was built in 1847, county records show.

Contact Mike Sigov at:

sigov@theblade.com,

or 419-724-6089.

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