2 homes burn in fire on Christmas Eve

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Two families may now be homeless after two Cleveland homes on Memphis Avenue caught fire

Crews spent several hours here trying to extinguish the flames, also checking to see if anyone was inside.

But before these crews even got here, there total strangers decided to run inside to help save a life.

"Somebody said there might be people in the house," Jim Harding said.

So the former firefighter immediately sprang into action.

"Me and two other guys, we busted through the front door," Harding.

The trio went all throughout the house looking for any sign a person who may still be trapped inside.

"We got access through the back. Opened the back door, went up the staircase and my fireman instinct just kicked in," Harding said.

As they tried to make their way to the top floor, the smoke became too much to handle.

The men turned around, luckily no one was in the home.

"We just couldn't get in there. The fireman showed up," Harding said.

The flames seem to have originated at the home on the left, but they quickly spread to the house next door.

That neighbor said she's devastated.

"Someone knocked on my door and said you have to get out the house now. Several people said to get out of the house," Stephanie Stacey said.

She recalls it as one of the worst things that could've possibly happened on Christmas Eve.

"My husband and I were both senior citizens and this was our sold house. I don't know if we're gonna wind up homeless. I don't know how badly the house is torn up," said Stacey.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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