LORAIN, OH - After budget cuts forced the city of Lorain to lay off over 20 firefighters over the weekend, the one thing they all feared came to pass on this Fourth of July. All but one of the city's fire stations are now closed.
Monday afternoon, a house on West Erie Street caught fire. And because there weren't enough firefighting units available, other cities had to be called in to assist, resulting in a longer wait time for help to arrive on the scene.
Lorain Fire Captain Greg Neal explains, "I had to call for outside help. That outside help is other cities. Problem is, our response time is extremely exaggerated because they are from other cities. That makes me not able to do my job. The longer you wait, the severe exposure you have to that building and the people inside. We can not make interior attack, and try to get people out, there will be safety hazards ."
The Red Cross is assisting 11 people who were displaced by the fire. There is no word yet on a cause or the amount of the damage to the structure.
Fox 8's Melissa Reid was on the scene of the fire, watch her report, above.