Woman killed in Newton Falls blaze was asleep

NEWTON FALLS — The woman killed Sunday in a house fire had just gotten off work and was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom when the blaze broke out.

A man at the home Monday who identified himself as the brother of Kelly Reece, 42, said her boyfriend, her son and his girlfriend were in the house at 339 Oak Knoll St., too, but made it out safely. He said Reece had finished work about 4:30 p.m.

“Her son was in the house and his girlfriend,” the man said, crying.

Reece was found in the upstairs bedroom, according to fire Chief Douglas Theobald.

Firefighters were called to the home just before 5:30 p.m. found the fire was contained to the front area of the two-story structure, according to a report. Wires were also reported down at the front of the residence.

Ashley Love, who lives across from Reece, made the 911 call.

“Get away from the house!” she’s heard saying on the call. “There’s somebody in the house. We need help right now.”

A dispatcher asked Love if the person could get out of the house. Love said no.

Love said Monday she and her husband saw the fire when they went outside.

“We remember seeing the small fire on the front porch,” Love said. “We got up and went down to look, and by the time we got over there, the whole house was on fire.”

Love said Reece was a private person, but well-liked.

Theobald said when crews arrived at the house, the fire was well-involved and appeared to be concentrated on the front porch and in the living room. It caused about $50,000 in damage to the house, he said.

While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, it’s believed it started on the porch and spread inside. The Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office is helping with the investigation.

Fire departments from Austintown, Warren Township, Lordstown, Milton and Braceville helped on the call.