July 30, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain officer’s cruiser, truck destroyed in fire

LORAIN — A police cruiser and the personal vehicle of a Lorain police officer were destroyed in a fire Saturday afternoon when the attached garage of the officer’s home on Oak Tree Drive North went up in flames.

The cruiser and Ford pickup belonged to Officer James Wolford and were totaled in the blaze.

Wolford was home at the time but was able to escape his home unhurt before firefighters arrived.

Lorain fire Capt. Tom Baker said the call came in at 1:46 p.m. The garage was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at 1:59 p.m.

But getting there was an ordeal, Baker said.

“Everything went perfectly wrong, but the guys were able to keep it from getting into the house,” he said.

First, Baker said all of the firefighters were heading to a call about a possible fire on the 1500 block of West Erie Street when the call at Wolford’s home came in. Initially, Lorain called for mutual aid from outside the city, but once it was learned that the first fire call was a false alarm, Lorain firefighters headed to Oak Tree Drive North.

But there were still problems.

“Heavy snow was falling at that time that delayed the response. The first 1,000 gallons of water from the pumper truck (were) used up pretty quickly, the nearest fire hydrant was frozen and supply lines had to be stretched down the street to another hydrant,” Baker said.

The fire initially was knocked down quickly, but firefighters stayed on the scene until 4:30 p.m. checking for hotspots inside the home. Baker said the fire was contained to the garage, but the home sustained damage to the interior.

Baker said the fire in under investigation and initial damage estimates are set to $50,000 for the structure and vehicles.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

  • Mark B

    Another reason Police Cruisers should not be taken home

    • Spec440

      Jesus. Really? Any excuse, right?

      • Mark B

        i bet his home owners wont pay for it and it will be left to the taxpayer to buy a new cruiser for his personal use .

        • rlm_Lorain

          They’re insured, so no, the taxpayers will NOT be paying for it. Officers take cruisers home to maintain a presence in our neighborhoods; they do NOT drive them for “personal use”. Where do you people get your information?

          • Dave Sommers

            Yes, taxpayers will foot the bill since the city is self insured.

          • Chris Heathcote

            What presence are they creating when they are parked in a garage?

  • willlam

    He lives down from us and the car is always parked outside. Maybe because of all the snow,he parked inside. The cop cars are always outside to have a presence and detour the bad guys.

    • Mark B

      deturing the bad guys is working so well , i bet it would still be cheaper to leave the cars at the police station.They could put a sign in the front yard stating that a police officer lives here , then that would be a deturant 24/7 because the bad guys would not know if the officers was home or not , and not just when the cruiser was outside. !

      • WTFnext

        deterrent.

    • Zen Grouch

      How ironic would it be if the “bad guys” burned down the cop’s garage?

  • Mark B

    Where do you think the city gets the money to be self insured? The Taxpayers ? SO once again the taxpayer will flip the bill !

  • Razorback Twou

    Here is something else to holler about. HUD has a program called “policeman next door” where if he spends 3 years there they cut his mortgage in half.

    • Spec440

      Do you even know anything bout the program other than the title? Educate yourself before coming on here and sounding like a fool.

      • Razorback Twou

        Yes I do, thank you. They also have one called “Teacher next door” that my daughter was in. Guess what? She is a teacher ! To bad you don’t know her, she could help you from sounding like the fool you are.

  • WTFnext

    He just wanted one of the new cruisers. LOL