CENTERBURG — An investigation into the Nov. 12 fire which took the life of Columbus resident Jeffrey Hurst, 47, at 1396 Oliver Road has concluded without a final determination as to what started the fire, or whether the fire was caused accidentally or deliberately set.
“The evidence was inconclusive one way or the other, as to whether it was accidental or intentional,” said Division of State Fire Marshal spokesman Shane Cartmill. “There would be evidence that would indicate both.”
Cartmill said that for now, the investigation has been closed.
“The investigators were unable to conclude one way or another,” he said. “There was no evidence of an accelerant.”
The fire had fully engulfed the home by the time firefighters from the Central Ohio Joint Fire District arrived on the scene.
According to Knox County Sheriff David Barber, Hurst no longer lived in the home which he once shared with his wife, Deanna Hurst, and their children. Barber said Jeffrey had moved to Columbus, and was staying with his mother. Deanna remained living in the Oliver Road home with two of the couple’s children.
There was no one in the residence when the fire started except Jeffrey Hurst, according to Barber. Firefighters discovered human remains inside the house once the fire was extinguished. Jeffrey Hurst’s body was positively identified the following day by Knox County Coroner Dr. Jennifer Ogle.
“Should investigators receive new information, the case could be reopened and investigators could determine the validity of the new information they receive,” said Cartmill.