LORAIN – Lorain firefighters worked to contain a blaze that completely engulfed a vacant home on West 17th Street late Tuesday.
Water had to be trucked in from all corners of Lorain County because fire hydrants on West 17th Street lost pressure, said Lorain fire Chief Tom Brown. Around 11:30 p.m. – about an hour after the fire started – water tankers from surrounding township fire departments still lined the streets, filling water retention containers that fed into the Lorain fire trucks whose high-volume hoses were trained on the charred home.
“We put everything on this one,” Brown said. “We had some problems with the water. We couldn’t get the volume we needed so we let the other stations know how much water we needed.”
Brown said firefighters kept the fire from spreading to other houses, though around midnight fire crews were still working to completely stifle the flames. The fire spread to an addition that had been built onto the house, which is located in the 1200 block near the intersection of West 17th Street and Oberlin Road.
Brown said the fire was so hot that one of the embers set a parked car on fire down the street. The extent of the car’s damage was unknown late Saturday.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Brown said he heard from neighbors that there was heavy fireworks activity in the area throughout the evening.
Perry Carlton, who lives across the street from the vacant house, said he was standing in his driveway – 100 feet away from the fire – and he could still feel the heat.
“The house is in ruins,” Carlton said. “You could hear the electric lines popping.”
Witnesses and firefighters said the flames from the blaze pushed 40 to 50 feet into the air, while other witnesses said the flames were visible at least two blocks away.
It was the second blaze in Lorain on Tuesday. Firefighters put out another fire that ravaged a home on West 22nd Street just four hours before the 10:30 p.m. call at the West 17th Street home.
“We’ve been lucky,” Brown said. “Two big fires and nobody was hurt. These guys are working hard and doing a great job.”