Elyria firefighters are still trying to determine how the fire started on the top floor of 347 5th Street, Assistant Fire Chief Ron Blras said.
Michelle Alexander, who lives in the building with her fiancé and 9-year-old son, said she noticed the fire on her son’s bed and tried to put it out with water, but then she saw the flames moving under the bed. That’s when she fled the building, she said.
“It spread so rapidly,” Alexander said. “It just kept going and going.”
Loretta Dixon, one of the owners of the apartment building, which faces Barres Lane, said that 10 of the 12 apartments in the building were occupied.
Residents said they fled the flames, some with their animals, others, including Alexander, were forced to leave theirs behind. She believes her two cats probably died in the blaze.
After the fire was knocked down, firefighters found a bird cage in a basement apartment with the birds inside still alive.