CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Cleveland resident hanging from a 4th-floor window had to be rescued when Cleveland firefighters responded to a heavy fire Friday afternoon around 5 p.m.
Smoke and flames were seen pouring out of a 4th-floor apartment building on Lake Avenue when Cleveland firefighters arrived.
Firefighters responding to the call at 10903 Lake Avenue immediately began stretching hoses and searching for victims.
Cleveland Chief of Fire Angelo Calvillo called the the blaze a “challenging fire.”
The building was a four story, 26 apartment building.
Chief Calvillo told 19 News that except for the one resident who needed a ladder to escape the rest of the tenants were able to escape safely. He says the fire was so intense, it burned right through the roof.
“The saving grace was a fire wall on the back end of that 4th story apartment that actually stopped it and kept it right in that 4th story apartment," Chief Calvillo said.
Structural damage was limited to the apartment where the fire began according to Chief Calvillo, he called the apartment, “charred.”
Megan Cruse spotted the fire when she went to take out her garbage. She lives in the building next door.
"I just saw it looked like a tiny flame and I wasn’t even sure that it was really a fire and then I heard something fall and I was like, 'Oh my God, that’s a fire,’” Cruse told us.
Cruse didn’t have her phone on her so she rushed upstairs to call 911.
“It was like two minutes later and the whole room was already on fire,” said Cruse. “Then I ran over and I started knocking on people’s doors trying to tell people to get out because I didn’t know if anybody knew yet.”
Nathan Kresman was at home when the fire started.
“I’m just glad I got my cats out,” said Kresman. “I had to shove them in a duffel bag pretty unceremoniously.”
He didn’t even know until he saw a post from a friend on social media.
"Really surprising to open your door and see this curtain of huge black smoke you’re not used to seeing,” Kresman said.
The fire chief says everyone will be displaced from the building. The Red Cross was there helping residents with accommodations.