Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Sheffield Township – An afternoon fire behind Vincent Elementary on North Ridge Road, just east of Route 57, left a brand new playground set destroyed.

Mike Ortiz was on his way to get a pizza when his son yelled out – “the school is on fire” – Ortiz quickly turned around. “As soon as I looked over I saw two small girls running east from the playground area and then there were two boys who looked to be teenagers running in the opposite direction. To me it appeared that they were both carrying something but with as fast as they were going I couldn’t tell what it was.”

Chief Joe Bandagski of the Sheffield Township said when his Firefighters arrived the fire was fully involved and going up over the school building. “Our guys obviously saw the huge column of smoke coming from the area, and then when they got here the fire was going up the side of the school building. The heat and fire were so intense right there that several windows on the north of the building broke out.”

Sheffield Fire called for mutual aid due to the size of the fire and the proximity to the building. Firefighters from Sheffield Village, Elyria Township, Avon, Amherst and South Amherst and the Lorain County Command and Communications truck all responded to the scene. The Lorain County Red Cross was also on scene providing rehab for the Firefighters.

Firefighters searched the interior of the school to see of any fire had gotten inside of the building. Although the building was filled with smoke, no fire damage was spotted. Firefighters also inspected the roof and found no fire or damage.

The huge black column of smoke could be seen as far south as Wellington. Local Fire Departments received calls from people believing the fire was in their jurisdiction.

Chief Bandagski said that the fire is believed to have started as a mulch fire then spread to the playground equipment. The equipment was brand new and just installed over the last couple of months.

The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope they catch the people that did this...and if it's juveniles...also hope that someone gives them a great big butt-whooping.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Well at least nobody can break an arm falling off the monkey bars now

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is so sad with school about to begin. every kid looks forward to recess and playing on the playground. i hope they catch the people who did this.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do they have a new playset? I thought this school was closed at the end of last year?

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a disgrace, i hope they catch the idiots who did this. My kids go to this school and it breaks my heart that someone would be so inconsiderate.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the school that is closing the St. Vincent De Paul - a catholic facility down the street in Elyria Township. This school is part of the Clearview system.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So it was Vincent elementary? The article says St. Vincent..Which one is it?

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never mind..After I posted whether it was Vincent elementary, or St. Vincent, they changed the story to read Vincent elementary. Guess that answers that question

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mutal aid for this fire?! What happens when sheffield has a real fire? Also just because kids where running from that area, does not mean they caught the play ground on fire. It means there was a fire and If there is a Fire, IAM Running the other way also! The article says it was a mulch fire. Mulch catches fire ALL the time w/o someone igniting it. hard to say I hope they catch whoever did it when you don't know if someone actually started it.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

STFD has AUTOMATIC mutual aid agreements with surrounding departments for any structure fire. If the situation turns out differently, other departments are released or cancelled en route after initial assessment of the scene. Also, my son attends Vincent and the "mulch" used in the playground is the recycled tire type, which, as far as I am aware, does not self combust as does natural mulch.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

First of all, ummm... I can't address you by name because you're anonymous.. That's nice... First of all, you weren't there, so TMC news gives you a chance to learn about something. You've obviously chosen not to read the article that TMC news wrote. This was a fire that produced a large amount of thick black smoke that was visable for miles. Sheffield Township absolutely did the right thing by calling mutual aid. The school was close to that burning equipment and suffered damage to windows from the fire and smoke damage inside. This is a commercial structure. You call out everyone, and if you don't need them, you send them home. Everyone that showed up performed a function. Now, I'm gonna call you out. Take an Incident Command Class (ICS 100,200,700, and 800). Real life fire Chiefs have to take 300 and 400 too, but you probably won't get past 100. You can take them for free on the internet. Take the class, pass the test, then you can judge how well the Chief did in the area of Command.

Also, it was the mulch that was on fire. But what you fail to realize, is that the mulch was made from RECYCLED RUBBER. Last time I checked, your cars tires didn't catch on fire by themselves. Anyone running from the scene of a fire is a suspect until cleared. That's how it goes. Good job Sheffield Twp. Good save and good Incident Command.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous STFD said...

just wanted to say thank you to all the departments that responded to this fire. Although it might seem to some people that it doesnt look like much but it was extending onto the school building. So again thank you to all departments..Elyria Twp, Sheffield Village, Sheffield Lake, Amherst, South Amherst, Avon, LCEMA Tom Kelly and the green machine, Lorain County Red Cross...

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an Idea?! Lets ignore the ill educated on here. "Nice Stop" STFD. I also saw once, a surveillance camera focused on the school playground out west somewhere with this rubber matting that spontaneously combusted with NO ONE AROUND in the middle of the day!

Ffr. J. Castle
EFD Engine Co. 3
Lorain Blvd. @ Bell

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey dave, shove it up your #@$! The story did not say it was recycled tire plastic just said MULCH. Can't blame the fellow for thinking it was regular mulch. Do you think you are so much better than everyone else? how about you take a spelling class instead of an ICS class

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Just as smart as Dave said...

Hey Dave...lay off the coffee and the instant offense pills....

You need to relax. You went to fire school..good for you.

Taking a class doesn't make you good at anything.

There was one a mechanic with loads of education and years of experience who did some work on an engine compressor.

His supervisor, who had even more education, and experience checked off the work.

A few minutes into the first flight following the repair the plane wheeled over into a neighborhood killing everybody on board and several people on the ground.

I think I make my point about experts and education....

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently Dave is a touchy fire fighter who does not like to be questioned.....Hope he's not in a higher management position.

11:58 PM  

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