2 hurt more than 100 people displaced following Willoughby apartment fire

2 hurt more than 100 people displaced following Willoughby apartment fire

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio (WOIO) - Two people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation after a fire broke out at Pine Ridge Apartments on the Willoughby-Willoughby Hills border Monday afternoon.

Two people went to the hospital after the fire at the Pine Ridge Apartments this afternoon. The rest of the residents are now evacuated. The fire chief says, "There is such a large electrical issue with the building, that we have determined that the building is not safe to occupy right now." Tonight, the American Red Cross is helping people who are displaced.

Posted by Hannah Catlett on Monday, October 21, 2019

When crews arrived, the transformer connected to the building was on fire.

Fire Chief Todd Ungar says this department then discovered six additional fires inside the Pine Ridge Apartments.

They were scattered all over the building.

“I’ve never seen this before,” he said. “This is very unusual for us.”

A spokesperson for First Energy tells 19 News that two wires that belong to the apartment complex failed Monday afternoon, causing the transformer box to go out.

That then caused wires inside the building to begin burning, pouring smoke out of outlets and windows.

“The building is not safe to be occupied right now,” Chief Ungar said. “There is such a large electrical issue with the building, that we have determined that the building is not safe to occupy right now.”

First energy and Chief Ungar both say there’s not really anything anyone could have done to prevent this situation.

But now, there’s a lot of work to do to fix it.

NEW INFO: First Energy says it was the Pine Ridge Apartment’s wires that failed, which led to it’s transformer failing. That then caused wires inside the building to begin burning pouring smoke out of outlets and windows.

Posted by Hannah Catlett on Monday, October 21, 2019

According to Willoughby Fire, 120 apartments have been closed, leaving hundreds looking for a place to stay.

Red Cross is on the scene, helping people find shelter for the night.

A lot of residents told us another fire happened at the same complex just a few days ago.

Ungar says it was in a different building and was completely unrelated to the electrical issues this building is having.

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