CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH (WOIO) - Investigators said at least four homes caught fire in a Cuyahoga Falls neighborhood just before 6 a.m.Friday.
The blaze broke out in the 4900 block of Lake Forest Drive in the Hidden Lakes development. Two of the homes were under construction. The other two were occupied.
Many residents stood in shock as the they watched smoke billow out of the homes.
"The only thing I remember is my mom yelling for us to wake up and then running to all the way down to the stop sign in front of our aunt's house," said Stella Rich, young resident.
"It's very emotional. I mean the whole neighborhood was out watching in the division because it's a devastating thing," said Chief Paul Moledor, Cuyahoga Falls Fire Department.
Two vacant homes under construction caught fire and spread to two other homes on the same street. The two homes under construction and one of the occupied homes were destroyed. The fourth house was slightly damaged.
"When we arrived we saw the center house on fire, the other house next to it was on fire, it was just starting to catch the house to the south and then the house to the north was starting to smoke," said the Chief.
Firefighters worked to put out the flames---blowing winds made it difficult.
Mary Gould is a dog walker in the neighborhood and says this fire is tragic.
"Absolutely devastating to lose your house and everything in it, so I can understand it would be very hard," said Gould.
Everyone made it out safely, including Stella's cat Barney. There was an emotional reunion as firefighters put him in her arms.
"You know if you can help out one little child, kind of cope with things and realize it wasn't as bad, it makes her day a little better, that makes it worthwhile," said the Chief.
One of the newly built homes will be knocked down as fire officials investigate how the fire started.
Download the Cleveland 19 News app.