MEDINA, Ohio-- "Get out now!"
That's what residents of the Autumn Run Apartments, 570 Birch Hill in Medina, heard at four this morning as police scurried to get everyone out.
Eight families are displaced after something or someone set fire to the back part of the building -- possibly a deck area.
The first 911 call came in around 4:10 a.m.
Residents are terribly upset that the first fire crew didn't arrive until at least 4:30. Everyone got out okay.
The Medina Fire Department has 44 firefighters, 42 of whom are volunteer.
The fire department had tough weather conditions to deal with considering temperatures were well below freezing.
Medina Fire Chief Bob Painter said, “We could see it a mile away as we were coming in. The roof area was fully involved at 4 a.m. It was pretty bright.”
Police showed up within minutes and banged on doors to get everyone up and out.
Five units were destroyed, but all 11 units had to be vacated because there is no power or running water in the apartment building.
The American Red Cross is helping families find shelter for the next few nights.
Lenette Daugherty said, “All of a sudden, smoke engulfed in my apartment. I was just trying to round my cats up and my belongings. And by the time I got that done the place was billowing with smoke."
One dog and one cat are still missing.