April 24, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
54°F
test

Fire displaces family of 10 in Lorain

LORAIN — A family of 10 had to find another place to sleep Christmas night after an unattended stove caught fire at a West 30th Street residence.

Capt. Dennis Livchak said two electric stove burners were left on at the home on the 2100 block of West 30th Street while the family was out, sparking a blaze in the kitchen just before 5 p.m.

A pumper truck was only a minute from the house, but smoke was already pouring from the windows when firefighters arrived, he said.

The flames cut a path through the kitchen ceiling and into the split-level home’s attic. Livchak said his crew had stamped out the last of the embers within 20 minutes, but the fire already had caused $30,000 in damage to the house and another $5,000 to its contents.

Sharon Whitman, 32, returned home as firefighters finished, Livchak said. The Red Cross was finding shelter for Whitman, her two adult family members and eight children who were visiting for the holidays.

“It’s a terrible thing to happen on Christmas,” Livchak said.

The lower level of the house was mostly unaffected by the fire, and most of the living room was protected from the flames, according to Livchak, and while there was heavy smoke and water damage, it at least looked like their Christmas presents weren’t destroyed.

Contact Jason Hawk at 329-7148 or jhawk@chroniclet.com.