Assistant Fire Chief Roy Cochran said smoke was visible when firefighters arrived about three minutes after the call. The fire was in a wall in Apartment 4 of the two-floor, six-unit, wood-framed house. Five of the six apartments were occupied.
Cochran said the house, between Oakwood Avenue and state Route 57, is an older building and has a common attic, which delayed the fire’s extinguishment. Each unit had to be checked to see if insulation was on fire or if the fire had gotten into the walls or the attic.
“It spread into the walls. Fortunately, the attic was only charged with smoke,” he said.
Cochran said the fire was called in by a resident, and everyone was out of the building when firefighters arrived. The fire was contained around 4:05 p.m., and the residents were being assisted with temporary housing by the Lorain County chapter of the American Red Cross.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Cochran said it may have been due to an electrical problem. Cochran estimated the fire caused about $40,000 in property damage and $15,000 to belongings.
Owner Jeff Whitman said the house is about 100 years old and is insured. He said it hasn’t had any electrical problems or fires in the past. Whitman was uncertain whether tenants can move back in and said he was worried about them.
“They’re good people,” he said. “I just want to make sure they’re taken care of.”
Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.