Thursday, May 08, 2008


Elyria – A curling iron left on a bed has left one apartment completely destroyed and ten others with smoke and water damage.

Assistant Chief Robert Dempsey of the Elyria Fire Department said they received the call of an apartment on fire at 144 David Drive at 9:16 p.m. Wednesday night. “The fire originated in apartment C-10, that apartment belongs to Larry Eccleston and his 14 year old daughter. The fire started in the daughter’s bedroom on the top bed of a bunk bed. The daughter had left a curling iron and a straightening iron on for about an hour. The heat from the irons ignited the bedding on the top bunk setting the bed on fire.”

Dempsey said that Eccleston discovered the fire and attempted to extinguish it himself. When he realized it was too much for him to handle he called 9-1-1. This is something that Dempsey said Firefighters do not recommend. “We always recommend that people get out of the structure as quickly as possible and then call 9-1-1, immediately. The longer you wait the farther ahead the fire gets. In this case I do not think there was a long time delay, but there was some and in our business every second counts so we strongly recommend to get out immediately and then call 9-1-1.”

Jessica Smith lives in the building next door and heard the smoke detectors going off. “I was running back into my building real quick just to get some formula for my baby when I heard the alarms. I could see in the corner bedroom window what looked like a small flame but then all of a sudden it just blew up, not like an explosion but it just grew very fast.”

Smith said that she called 9-1-1 right away and then notified the building manager. It was when she was on her way back from the manager’s apartment that she said she witnessed something amazing. “When I was walking back over I saw a Police car in the lot and then I saw this Police Officer coming out of the building with two small children. By this time there was a lot of flames coming from the windows and a lot of smoke so to me that Officer saved those kids lives. He was very impressive and I think he should be recognized for what he did.”

Art Mead Sr., Disaster Chairman of the American Red Cross said that he and his Red Cross Volunteers were assisting victims of the fire. “There were 11 apartments affected by the fire and we are working with a total of 24 people. We have given them vouchers for a motel room and food as well as clothing that they need. Our Nurse is also working closely with them to determine if any of them need medication or any other special medical needs. We were fortunate in this case where the Firefighters allowed some of them back into their apartments real quick to get things like medication.”

Mead said that some of the victims will be staying with family tonight and they were still waiting at midnight to meet with two other families. “We will also be back first thing in the morning to see what else is needed and we will also be able to survey the damage to the apartments to determine how long we will need to provide housing for the victims.”

Mead said that if anyone would like to donate to the American Red Cross could do so by calling their office at 440.324.2929. “We would like people to make a donation to the Local Disaster Relief Fun, that is where we pull money from to assist families.”

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where in Elyria? North Elyria? Let me guess, journalism is just your side job?

4:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the police officer pictured the one who carried out the children?

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The scene was near the mall. And yes TMC does have another job. He can't always be at every incident in the area. His teletransporter is on the fritz. Needs a new gonculator from what I understand. Anyway fine job to my brothers at EFD and the back up crews from Avon and Lorain. btw, HEY MAYOR, WERE YOU THERE? I FIGURED SINCE YOU KNOW SO MUCH ON HOW THE ELYRIA FIRE DEPARTMENT SHOULD BE RUN YOU WOULD BE THERE DIRECTING THEM. YA SEE WHY 14 IS NOT ENOUGH!!!!! Haas

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's keep in mind that sometimes the story is more important than the location. So post nice.
And at a scene like this you have to take whatever information you can; so I am sure TMC will post the officer information when he gets it.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOORAY!!!! TMCNews back in full swing?!?!? VERY NICE!!!! Thats great! Sucks about the apartment tho. Hope you had renters insurance.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous karl said...

Great job on the part of the policeman rescuing two children from this fire.
Haas, you're absolutely right. Each firefighter reduction makes us all feel a little less secure. We shouldn't need to rely on mutual aid to maintain fire coverage in the city. Management definitely has its priorities wrong when it comes to safety forces here, but unfortunately we choose to play petty politics (don't support me and I'll cut your forces) that put people's lives in danger. Fortunately there were no injuries in this fire, but I have a nasty feeling that we're living on borrowed time. Keep up the good job EFD and please realize that there are many people in this town who support the great work you're doing!

2:44 PM  
Anonymous firebabies..waaaa said...

Good God...everytime there is a fire we get to hear about how the world is coming to an end...

Where would this city be if we didn't fawn all over the big bad firemen. If you want to try a tough job...strap on a gun and work an entire shift answering calls.

Just a thought...where was the Fire Chief??? And speaking of petty politics how come the ladder truck couldn't be brought to the scene, why do you guys have so many call offs, and why do you chase ambulance calls when a kid sprains their ankle...couldn't be jacking up the run numbers to justify your existence could you, hmmmm???

You firefighters do a great job when you just fight fires...spend more time working and less time sitting around the station house winding yourselves into a lather grab a lawn mower and clean up some empty lots, and the city will be ahead. How many ACTUAL working fires do you really do a year???

TMC News,,,I love the site..don't let haters get you down. I see the work you do and you give the papers a run for their money!!

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a news reporting site, not a forum to whine about fire, police or the city government. Please do not sulley an excellant site like this with petty, child like bickering.

1:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fire babies waaaa, I completley agree with EVERY thing you said.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Sue said...

Ugh. I just felt it'd be an appropriate time to express my love for TMC, the EFD, the Lifecare EMT's/Medics, and the EPD.

I appreciate the time and effort you put in, TMC - and I also appreciate the time and effort of the city's emergency response teams. Say what you want, but all of them put their lives (and mental health) on the line for our community.

<3 <3 <3

8:35 AM  
Anonymous karl said...

Okay, my apologies if I got on a soapbox about the fire department. I didn't mean to start an uproar or divert attention from the safety forces that saved lives in this incident. I'll just say they do a good job with the resources available to them and leave it at that.
Keep up the good job tmc keeping us informed on the local happenings.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice STOP C-Shift! I work with the best Firefighters, having little resources to work with.

J. Castle
Engine Co. 3
Lorain Blvd @ Bell

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like maybe firebabies didnt do so hot on the elyria fire test and maybe a little disgruntled

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous #1:

Maybe if you had more to do than slam a hard working journalist, you could read, because you were dead center wrong!

TMC posted the fire in progress AND IT'S LOCATION B.E.F.O.R.E the full story was written sir braindead. Read JUST BELOW the main article if you can remember your ABC's. And I quote from the breaking news (which is still there. duh):

'Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Elyria – Firefighters are battling an apartment building fire at this hour on Elyria’s north side.
Reports from the scene have one apartment completely destroyed by fire while others have suffered severe smoke and water damage.

Fire Officials have called in the American Red Cross to assist up to 22 residents who are now wondering where they will live.

TMC NEWS has a reporter and photographer on scene and will bring you details and photos as soon as they come in."

Well gee Wally, it actually said NORTH SIDE. Now do us all a favor and take your moronic, uneducated self out of here for good!

TMC, this is the FIRST site I and hundreds of others read every day and more than once a day! In addition, you are very highly regarded by the local first responders as well for your integrity (a rare breed in media). Keep up the excellent work!

1:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, read the article, maybe you just skipped over the address paragraph....

8:32 AM  

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