Deadly motel fire ruled arson; man charged

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Investigators will be back on the job today, sifting for additional information about a fire early Monday that claimed the lives of three people.

James Reed and John Meyer, who both lived at the Lyle Motel along with Meyer's girlfriend, Lolaetta Corbin Hicks, were found dead when Ironton firefighters were called to the scene of the 2 a.m. blaze. Their bodies have been sent to the Ohio State Medical Examiner's Office in Columbus for autopsies.

Ironton resident Roger Marshall, 56, has been charged with aggravated arson in connection with the fire. Marshall is being treated for what Ironton Fire Chief Tom Runyon called "considerable burns" at a Columbus hospital.

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"We anticipate other charges once we sit down and talk to the prosecutor," Runyon said.

Runyon said a state fire inspector will return to the motel today to examine the wiring. Other occupants of the affected building were not allowed back in their rooms after the fire because of the damage the wiring sustained.

Runyon said the cause of the fire and the circumstances that led to it remain under investigation.