NEW PARIS, Ohio — Court documents reveal that a Richmond man’s fireworks are to blame for sparking a deadly fire in an Ohio trailer park.
Anthony W. Luker Jr., 23, was recently arrested in Wayne County and extradited to Preble County in Ohio where he faces charges of reckless homicide, having weapons under a disability and grand theft of a firearm — all third degree felonies.
According to the Preble County Sheriff’s Department, the deadly fire occurred on Sept. 7 at a trailer park on State Route 121 West near New Paris. Kenneth Doolin died as a result of the fire.
Court documents reveal that Doolin was found in the front pedestrian door of the trail. The trailer’s door was reportedly sealed shut by a board and nails, though police officers claim that the door appeared to have been sealed “long ago.”
An autopsy later confirmed Doolin died from smoke inhalation.
Court documents reveal that a woman who survived the fire by crawling out a window heard Doolin shouting at Luker prior to the fire. The woman heard “popping sounds” and claimed that Doolin shouted at Luker, “Are you going to stop shooting off those fireworks?!”
Luker later told investigators that after lighting off the fireworks that started the trailer on fire, he fled “out of fear” in a vehicle that wasn’t his own and also took a .22 caliber rifle. The vehicle was found abandoned in Connersville on Sept. 8.
In addition to his Ohio charges, Luker faces possession of methamphetamine charges in Wayne County.