Christmas Fatal Fire Ruled Not Suspicious

Canton, OH - A Christmas week house fire that killed five people was not a crime, investigators say.

Fire Department Capt. Roger Nye said investigators have ruled out the possibility that the fire was suspicious and may release an official cause later in the week.

Three adults and two children were killed in the fire Dec. 28 that was so intense much of the house and its contents was destroyed, leaving little evidence for investigators to work with.

Nye said investigators have been able to rule out a gas furnace, a gas stove, a gas water heater and electrical problems as sources.

The victims had to be identified with dental records and DNA. The Stark County coroner's office identified them as Jeffrey A. Johnson Jr., 11; his mother, Lou Ann Johnson, 50; and her granddaughter, Desirae Decker, 13.

Thomas L. Moyer, 55, Lou Ann Johnson's fiancDe, and James A. Brady Jr., 37, Moyer's roommate, also died in the fire, the coroner said.

The coroner has not yet released causes of death but said smoke inhalation is suspected.