"Well, it happened so fast. I wasn't really thinking about it, but I see now what could've happened," said Robert Wilson, who has lived on Sherman Street for 60 years. The neighboring house caught on fire around 2:30 in the morning while Wilson was sleeping. He was awakened by a group of people who noticed the burning house.
"They came by and saw the flames shooting up," said Wilson. "They stopped and went to that house and my house to try and get me up. I was like, 'What the heck is goin' on out here?' "
Wilson ran outside and watched as the fire destroyed the vacant house that has been bank-owned for a few years, according to the incident report. "The crews got out there, and it was already coming through the side of the window, and penetrating through the roof of the house," said Sandusky Fire Marshal Rudy Ruiz. Ruiz said there was no electricity or gas service in the house, and the point of ignition was in the middle of a room on the first-floor.
"We did notice that there was a gate in the back that was open in the backyard; however, it didn't look like there was any forcible entry into the home," said Ruiz.
The fire marshal and police investigators are talking with neighbors, the former homeowner and even the men who spotted the fire and woke up Mr. Wilson.
"They did save my life, I think, I really do, the more you think about it. I think in three, to four or five minutes, it would've gotten my bedroom, and I know it would've got the bathroom," said Wilson.
The damage to the house was extensive. No one was hurt.