Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Elyria – A fire broke out in an upstairs bedroom of a West Ave home in Elyria Tuesday afternoon while 5 children with downstairs with their babysitter.

Captain James Cawley of the Elyria Fire Department said that when Firefighters arrived they had light smoke showing from an upstairs window. “We were advised right away that all of the occupants were already outside of the home. The first crew pulled a hand line and entered the home to initiate an attack. They were met with thick smoke in the stairwell which made their visibility zero going into the second floor.”

Firefighters ventilated the home by breaking out windows on the second floor – sending clouds of thick smoke into the air. Cawley said that Firefighters were able to find the seat of the fire and knocked it down. “Once they got the fire knocked down they checked for extension and began overhaul. The fire was contained to one room and our guys placed salvage covers on as much furniture as possible to prevent any further damage. As of right now we have $5,000.00 in damage to the structure and another $5,000.00 to contents.”

Cawley said that the babysitter told Investigators that she was in the living room when she heard one of the children “fussing to get up” from an upstairs bedroom. The babysitter was heading upstairs when she saw fire and smoke in the one of the bedrooms. She quickly grabbed one child and brought her downstairs “dropped her on the couch” then ran back up for the second child and brought him down. She then grabbed a child from a playpen in the living room and placed him in the kitchen with the others.

The babysitter went and got one more child and returned to the kitchen and began putting coats on the kids – at this point Officers from the Elyria Police Department arrived and helped them all get outside and onto a neighbors porch. The babysitter, in two trips, took the children to a neighbor’s home across the street.

Cawley said they were able to determine that the cause of the fire was one of the children playing with a lighter in the upstairs bedroom.

The Lorain County Chapter of the American Red Cross has been called in and will be assisting the family.

Lorain and Avon Fire Departments provided mutual aid by covering the City of Elyria during the fire.



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