Investigators say a space heater caused a Christmas Eve fire that killed a 4-year-old boy, his mother and a man at a central Ohio home reported to be vacant.
The Columbus fire department says investigators believe the heater ignited a mattress. They believe the man awoke and tried to lift the mattress to move it, but that would have intensified the blaze.
A department spokesman says the woman could not walk because of a physical disability and may have fallen from the mattress when it was lifted. He says it appeared the boy had grabbed onto the man's leg.
The fire is being ruled accidental.
The spokesman says the landlord of the property knew the victims were in the vacant house but did not have a lease agreement with them.