Arson Probe: String Of Arson Fires Sparks Fear On Cleveland's Westside

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A triple-alarm fire on Cleveland's Westside Monday morning is being investigated as arson.

Fire broke out at vacant house just after 3:30AM at W. 44th & Lorain and quickly spread to two neighboring, occupied homes.

"I opened a window, nothing but red," said disabled fire victim Julie Skala. "I said oh, ****, the house next door is on fire." Skala added that she thought she was going to die.

Good Samaritans rushed inside the fiery inferno to rescue Skala and her daughter trapped inside. The daughter jumped from the roof into the awaiting arms of rescuers down below. The Good Samaritans even managed to save the family's three dogs.

One person was transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Besides Skala and her daughter, the rescuers honked their car horns and set off their car alarms to alert two women with two young children in the house next door.

"Ten minutes later I wouldn't have been able to get my kids," Christine Binder told 19 Action News. "The ceiling started falling down up there."

Firefighters say the cause does appear suspicious and there has been a rash of arson fires in the area recently.

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