Lakewood OH

Basement fire on Charles Street totals house, injures two firefighters

By Jeff Gallatin

North Olmsted

A Friday basement fire which likely totaled a Charles Road home, caused slight injuries to two North Olmsted firefighters.

North Olmsted fire Chief Tom Klecan said one firefighter suffered a burn and another had smoke inhalation while battling the blaze, which firefighters were called to at about 1:15 p.m. Both firefighters declined treatment until after the blaze was dealt with.

“It started somewhere in the basement,” Klecan said. “We got there and it already was well under way.”

Klecan said the high winds that preceded winter weather coming into the northern Ohio area Friday afternoon and evening hampered the firefighters’ efforts to get the fire under control.

“The fire was on the windward side of  the basement,” Klecan said. “Couple that with the fact the fire was in the basement, and it was a little tougher to deal with.”

Klecan said nobody was home at the time of the fire.

“The homeowner was away at work while his wife and infant child were out of town at the time,” Klecan said. “They’ve just moved in within the last couple of months.”

Because they’ve only recently moved in, Klecan said firefighters had to contend with different items in the basement. He said nothing appeared suspicious about the fire.

“We had to determine where the fire actually got under way. It looked like it had been going for a while before we got there,” he said.

Once firefighters got the fire under control, fire and insurance investigators got busy checking the blaze. Firefighters left the scene at 6:30 p.m.

“We ran thermal imagers to help knock down any potential hot spots during the rest of the afternoon,” Klecan said. Despite the high winds, neighbors’ homes were not affected by the fire.

“It was confined to the home where it originated,” Klecan said.

He said multiple departments responded to the mutual-aid situation. Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Ridgeville, Olmsted Township, Rocky River and Westlake all sent firefighters.




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