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Officials have confirmed that two people died in a large house fire near Buckeye Lake overnight.
The Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office told 10TV that the two deceased people were the homeowners, 62-year-olds Mary and Milton (Butch) Clagg.
Sheriff Dave Phalen told 10TV, seven people – three family members and two friends -- were in the home, located on Shell Beach Drive, at the time of the fire.
Fairfield, Perry and Licking County firefighters were all at the scene of the fire, which investigators said started in a bedroom around midnight.
Vern Chadwick said that he lived down the street from the Claggs.
“This is the main road into the beach, and everybody that comes by, Butch was always standing out front,” Chadwicks said. “He greeted everybody. I just can’t believe it.”
Neighbor Jeff Mathews is a member of the Moose Lodge, of which Butch was a former governor.
“He was an honest guy and a nice guy,” Matthews said.
Mathews said that he remembers sitting at the bar with Butch, sharing a few words and an occasional beer.
“It’s not something you expect,” Mathews said. “It’s sad and disappointing.”
The State Fire Marshal’s investigators said they found multiple space heaters throughout the home, and that many of the electrical outlets had “multi-plug adapters” being used with extension cords.
The space heaters were located near combustible materials, according to the State Fire Marshal.
The official cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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