PRESS RELEASE, 4/14/2008

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters comments on the status of the investigation into the Colerain Township fire

Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters discussed the investigation into the Colerain Township fire which occurred in the early morning hours of Friday, April 4, 2008. Deters confirmed that homeowners Sharyn and Matt Cones could face drug charges as a result of a marijuana grow operation in their basement. The investigation revealed that the marijuana grow operation did not contribute to the fatal fire.

Two Colerain Township fire fighters, Captain Robin Broxterman and Firefighter Brian Schira, lost their lives when they entered the home on Squirrel's Nest Lane in an attempt to extinguish the fire. The investigation revealed that the fire originated in the basement in an area that was separate from the location of the marijuana grow operation. However, the homeowners could face possible drug charges for the marijuana growing operation.

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

Charges involving the cultivation of marijuana will be presented to the grand jury for consideration sometime this week