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AKRON — One of the victims of Monday’s tragic fire survived an attack years ago where her husband tried to set her on fire in Portage County.
Former Charlestown and Ravenna Township resident Angela M. Boggs, 38, and her boyfriend Dennis Huggins, 35, were among seven found dead Monday following a fire at their home at 693 Fultz St. in Akron. Their five children, identified by family and media reports as Jered Boggs, 14, Daisia Huggins, 6, Kylle Huggins, 5, Alivia Huggins, 3, and Cameron Huggins, 1, also died.
In February 2001, Angela Boggs told Portage County sheriff’s deputies that her husband tried to light her on fire inside their mobile home in the 5700 block of S.R. 5 in Charlestown by pouring kerosene on her and threatening her with a cigarette lighter. Responding deputies reported hearing banging sounds inside the residence and heard a man yelling inside, according to reports of the incident.
Following Monday’s fire, police interviewed her former husband, who was released from prison in July 2013 on a conviction resulting from that attack. The man was jailed Monday night for investigation of a parole violation, but a Cleveland media report Tuesday indicated the man is not a person of interest in the case. Akron police and fire officials did not return calls seeking comment.
Grant Doepel, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, could not release any details on Boggs’ husband and said any parole violations would be handled internally by parole officers.
Formerly an employee at the Portage Kidney Center on Devon Place in Kent, Boggs now worked as a dialysis technician for DaVita, a national kidney disease care company. On Tuesday, company spokesman Kevin Downey said “our hearts break for Angela and her family.”
“We are coming together to offer support for those who loved them and for each other during this time of grief,” he said.
The youngest of four brothers, Huggins “was tough as nails and a family man,” his brother, Albert, said Tuesday.
"We loved him with all of our hearts. He would want people to know that supporting his family was priority number one. His positive energy was always felt when he was present. You always knew where you stood with him,” Albert Huggins said.
The family has not received information regarding the cause of the deaths, he said, and asked the community for prayers.
Ohio Fire Marshal's Office spokeswoman Kelly Stincer said five investigators and a K-9 from the office were out at the scene Monday, collecting evidence and investigating the cause and origin of the fire at the request of the Akron Fire Department.
Investigators submitted evidence to the division's forensics lab. Preliminary lab results will not be available until later this week, Stincer said.
Gary Guenther, an investigator with the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office, said positive identification on the seven victims was unlikely to be made Tuesday. The manner of death "will depend largely on the police investigation" and cause of the blaze, Guenther said.