RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio-- Dozens of residents are now temporarily and indefinitely homeless after a fire at Loganberry Apartments in Richmond Heights.
It started around 11:30 a.m. in a second-floor residents’ storage unit, according to Fire Chief Marc Neumann.
“It is suspicious and the cause of the fire is under investigation," he said.
The three-story building, located 26710 Whiteway Dr., quickly filled with thick smoke. Some residents said they were alerted to the danger by employees of the complex.
“Maintenance guys were knocking on the door saying fire fire, but there was no fire alarm,” Marita Augustine said.
Richmond Heights firefighters responded fast and received back up from multiple other cities. The fire was extinguished quickly, but there was extensive, widespread water damage and a lot lingering toxic smoke.
“It was really bad, I mean choke-able bad,” said Faye Kinton, “I had to grab my two cats, my dog, some clothes and come back out.”
More 60 people live in the building.
Friday night, they were allowed inside for a few minutes to collect some of their possessions with Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Deputies standing watch because of carbon monoxide levels and the ongoing investigation.
To help residents, the American Red Cross and Cuyahoga County Emergency Management Agency set up a temporary shelter at Richmond Heights High School.
“It’s crazy, it really is,” Fay Kinton said.
Residents are also concerned about a separate incident that happened at the apartment complex around the same time as the fire.
Fire Chief Neumann said a disgruntled man, wielding a knife, entered the Loganberry Apartments rental office and was taken into custody by Richmond Heights police.
Police have confirmed there is an investigation, but won’t say if the man might be connected to the fire.