EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMore Than A Dozen Displaced By Fire In Jackson County, Ohio
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Tiersa Davis
Reported: Dec. 12, 2013 11:14 AM EST
Updated: Dec. 13, 2013 12:57 PM EST
Jackson , Jackson County , Ohio
Some residents in Jackson, Ohio, are homeless but thankful they survived and will spend time with their families during the holidays.
"We may not have most of our possessions, but we have our lives," displaced tenant Ruth Martin said,
A late-night fire destroyed a Jackson County multi-unit home, leaving 16 people homeless.
"I get up at 2 o'clock in the morning to go to work, so I was in bed and I heard yelling out in the hallway, and I opened up the door and there was smoke," Martin said.
Despite the loss, Martin considers herself lucky.
"I think we were all lucky, because we all got our lives," she said.
They believe the fires started in a back bedroom before 11 p.m. Wednesday. The frigid temperatures presented several obstacles for firefighters. Interim Jackson Fire Chief David Channell said the conditions "made it tougher, because everybody's getting so cold. Your gear freezes. Water, as soon as it hits your gear, it was freezing. Their gloves were stiff and that makes it harder to use your hands functionally to fight the fire."
The building is considered a total loss.
"It's bad enough anytime to have a fire, let alone two weeks before Christmas, that even makes it worse," Channell said.
The American Red Cross and others are pitching in to help the tenants, and Martin remains optimistic.
"Of course, pictures and stuff I can't replace, but I have my son, so I have the real thing, just not his baby pictures," she said.
You also can drop off donations to Ronnie Queen at the Jackson Flea Market from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A fire has destroyed an apartment complex, leaving more than a dozen people without a home in Jackson County, Ohio.
The Jackson Fire Department said the fire was reported about 11 p.m. Wednesday at the complex just two blocks from the station on Pearl Street in Jackson. The fire was eventually under control at 4 a.m. Thursday.
The three-story apartment complex had 16 rooms and 15 of those rooms were being rented by a total of 16 occupants. No injuries were reported. Those who did not have another place to go are now under the care of the American Red Cross. The complex is considered a total loss.
Fire Chief David Channell said the frigid temperatures were hazardous for firefighters and made it difficult to extinguish the fire. The temperature froze power lines, sidewalks, and streets which caused some firefighters to fall. No firefighters suffered any serious injuries.
The Ohio State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire. The Coalton Fire Department, Wellston Fire Department and Liberty Township Fire Department also responded to the blaze.
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