LEETONIA, Ohio (WKBN) – A fire that destroyed two houses in Leetonia was fueled by high winds and a lack of water.
It happened at the corner of Chestnut and Summit streets just after 1 p.m. Monday.
Firefighters responded to a call for a fire that started on a porch, but soon, the flames would consume the entire home and spread.
“It was built in the late 1800s or early 1900s. So when we arrived, the whole structure was on fire and it was a fairly large fire to begin with,” said Leetonia Asst. Fire Chief Jason Hephner.
The home collapsed just minutes after crews arrived on the scene.
“I have never seen something go up in flames so fast and then collapse so fast. I mean, it was in a matter of minutes, that’s how bad it was,” said neighbor Suzanne Tobuck.
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Neighbors also rushed into action to make sure everyone was safe.
“My husband saw the smoke, we live across the street from the park, and he went in my car to see if anyone was in the house because he knows the family. My other two daughters went running as well. It’s just a tragedy,” said neighbor Melinda Ewing.
The wind also helped push the flames onto a second home, which firefighters also weren’t able to save.
“The wind was fairly strong at the time of the fire and moved from the north to the south and extended that fire into the second home,” Hephner said.
The Leetonia Fire Department had trouble using the nearby fire hydrants and needed help to get enough water to fight the fire.
“We did have Greenford lay in with a different line. Once we got that water line established, that helped us create a solution to our water problems,” Hephner said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
No one was hurt.
The fire department is asking for donations to help the families who lost their homes.
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