SHEFFIELD TWP. — Rick Runion said he’d recently put his stepdaughter Yvonne Jones Xolo’s two children to bed when his son Ricky yelled to him that her apartment next door at 2072 Garfield Ave. was on fire.
“We just followed him outside and ran next store,” Runion said early Friday morning standing near the burned one-floor, wood-framed duplex. “By that time it was too late. We saw flames coming out of the roof.”
No one was injured by the fire, called in about 10:20 p.m. Thursday, said Fire Chief Joe Bandagski. It took between 20 to 30 minutes to contain and firefighters continued to douse embers around 1:30 a.m.
Bandagski said the blaze broke out in the rear bedroom of apartment where Jones Xolo lives with her children Alexis Sweeney, 9, and Jason Sweeney, 7, and her husband, Poly Xolo. The cause of the fire was undetermined early Friday morning. The fire destroyed the apartment. The vacant next door apartment sustained minor damage.
Jones Xolo was too upset to speak, but Runion said she had left her children for him to babysit around 9:30 p.m. while she went to work.
The family, which the Lorain County chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting, lost all their possessions in the fire.
“Everything is gone,” said Sandy Jaram, Jones Xolo’s aunt, who said she plans to seek donations. “They only have the clothes that they’ve got on their backs.”
Jones Xolo and Poly Xolo work nights at the Blue Sky Restaurant in Amherst.
“They were making it, but they struggled payday to payday,” Runion said. “They didn’t have a lot of luxuries, but they survived.”
Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or firstname.lastname@example.org