Taft Declares State Of Emergency In Lorain

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Gov. Bob Taft on Monday declared a state of emergency in Lorain County for residents of an apartment complex where 275 people were left homeless after a March 9 fire.

Estimates indicated that only 15 of the 96 families living in the Fairway Manor Apartments carried renters' insurance.

Taft asked the federal Small Business Administration to make low-interest loans available to the victims. He also asked the Ohio Emergency Management Agency to make available grants up to $14,800 for those who incurred essential needs because of the fire.

"These low-interest loans and state grants will enable these Ohio families to recover and rebuild as quickly as possible," Taft said.

Damage from the fire was estimated at $5 million.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)