Bridgeport fire victim is able to speak

BRIDGEPORT – The fire victim who lost three children in a fatal Bridgeport apartment blaze can speak, but wants her attorney present while being questioned by the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s office.

Michael Duchuesne, fire marshal spokesman, said the mother, Caroline Jean Owens, is now able to speak after weeks of recovering from burns she sustained in the March 17 fire.

However, investigators were informed Owens wants her attorney present before talking with them, he said.

”We don’t believe her counsel is a defense attorney.

“But they don’t want her to speak with investigators without her counsel present,” Duchuesne said.

Duchuesne believes the lawyer is not a defense attorney because the fire is not considered suspicious by the fire marshal’s office, while no criminal activity is suspected. The interview with Owens is considered an integral part of the investigation which remains open. Investigators already have interviewed the father, Joshua A. Looby, who also was burned, but not as badly as Owens.

”The cause is undetermined at this time,” he added.

Previously Duchuesne said investigators could not rule out the fire being electrical in nature. Duchuesne said he did not know if Owens still was recovering in a Pittsburgh area hospital, only that he knows she is able to speak.