CLEVELAND (WOIO) - A firefighter was injured after he crashed through a floor while battling an overnight house fire.
According to Cleveland Fire Department, the 52-year-old firefighter has been released in stable condition from MetroHealth hospital. The 27-year-veteran fell into the basement, where the fire originated from.
The fire happened just before midnight Monday on Columbia Avenue, near Saint Clair Avenue. Elliott Waiters, who lives next door to the abandoned house, noticed the fire from his window.
“It was scary,” he said, “looking out the window and seeing flames coming out the house next door.”
Waiters said he attempted to call dispatchers to the scene, but was not able to immediately get in touch with a dispatcher. “I called 911 and it went to a voicemail. It didn’t even go to a dispatcher. I had to hit the ADT alarm, the fire alarm button in the house,” he said.
No information has been released on how the fire started. Waiters believes unsupervised children who snuck into the abandoned home sparked the house fire:
“Kids. I chased a few of them from around here already. They’ve been over here going in the house. I already made complaints about the house to get it torn down. Nothing, nothing happened. So now we got to go through this to get something happening.”
He hopes the community will be more vigilant of children to avoid any possible incident in the future.
Waiters also looks forward to the possible demolition of the abandoned property.
“Hopefully they knock it down and give me some justice on the insurance, so that’s about it.”