COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – A condo fire in Columbiana left several people without a place to stay and it could be a while before they get to go back home.
Firefighters poured over 35,000 gallons of water on the fire at the condo on Timberline Drive Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, firefighters were still cutting away sections of the condo’s roof, looking for hot spots. The fire rekindled early in the morning.
The fire destroyed two of the units. It started in the attic space of one and then quickly spread to another, catching residents unaware.
“She was actually sitting on her porch and someone told her that her house is on fire,” Chief Rick Garrity said.
While firewalls separating two units in the back managed to keep it from spreading to the entire building, the chief said his crews had a tough time fighting it.
“The way they build these, with all the multiple roof lines and everything and the amount of blown-in insulation, it makes it very difficult for firefighting,” Garrity said.
At this point, local investigators and the state fire marshal have not been able to pinpoint the cause. Garrity admitted residents have told him they were having electrical problems earlier on Wednesday.
“They’re kind of scared that this could happen, maybe, to another unit, another building,” said Chris Hamilton, the president of the local condo association.
He said of the 88 units in this development off of Route 14, the oldest was built 18 years ago by a company that’s no longer in business.
“We had Goode Electric come out here — a local company here — come out, look at the electric and they said they’re kind of worried for the unit owners here because the electricity is not run right,” Hamilton said.
Although Garrity said he didn’t know about that, his people are checking the wiring in the burned-out condos.
For now, affected residents are staying at a local hotel but it could be months before the condos can be rebuilt.