DOWNTOWN RESIDENTS AND MERCHANTS CONCERNED OVER SUSPICIOUS FIRES
Elyria – Elyria Firefighters were kept busy overnight with two downtown fires. The first one was called in around 1:30 a.m. when someone on a bike riding through Merchants Alley between Kerstetter Way and Washington Ave spotted smoke coming from an open door.
As Firefighters arrived the man on the bike was waiting for them in the alley and directed them to the open door. The unknown man then left the area before Firefighters were able to speak to him further.
Firefighters began investigating the smoke coming from the rear of the building when they were alerted that smoke was seen filling the front of building as well. Firefighters then forced a door open to the Robinson Building at 401 Broad Street and began searching for the fire.
While Firefighters were searching in the basement they found furniture on fire as well as large wooden beams.
While in the basement one of the Firefighters was struck on the head with parts of a ceiling and a lighting fixture. Fellow Firefighters called over the radio for LifeCare and called out Firefighter down.
The injured Firefighter was carried out to Merchants Alley where fellow Firefighters treated him until LifeCare Paramedics arrived. He was then taken to Elyria Memorial for further evaluation and treatment.
The fire was extinguished and the clean up and overhaul began. Firefighters from North Ridgeville, Carlisle Township, Sheffield Village and Lorain provided Mutual Aid assistance.
FIREFIGHTERS RETURNING SEE SMOKE
At approximately 4:30 am, while Firefighters on Tower 8 were returning to their station they were traveling east on 3rd Street when they spotted smoke coming off of 230 3rd Street – the old Rothgery Building across from the County Parking garage. Firefighters found smoke coming from every corner of the building and quickly called for additional units.
A large window on the east side of the building had been busted out before Firefighters arrived.
As Firefighters worked their way through to locate the fire they ended up finding it in the basement of the building – like the fire they had just left.
About an hour after the fire was discovered it was called out by Fire Chief Benton. Overhaul however continued for an hour or so longer.
There were no reported injuries at the 3rd Street fire.
Both fires remain under investigation.