Officer, Infant Among Those Injured in House Fire

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BARBERTON, Ohio--Five people, including a police officer and infant, are hurt when flames and an explosion tear through an apartment house.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused the fire.

"Everybody lived, I mean that was a blessing from God," said neighbor, Ron Michael.

The five people were injured when a multi-unit home on Third Street, NW in Barberton went up in flames around 7:00 a.m. Thursday.

"Three older people downstairs, and you had one girl up there, four people with a baby in this one and a young couple upstairs," said Michael.

Several of them, including an infant, on the second and third floors had to be rescued by firefighters with ladders.

"I seen a flame come out the side. It sucked back in. Next thing you know, all I heard, it was a big boom; the windows shattered out; flames were coming out from everywhere," said neighbor, Jason Cramer.

Fire investigators spent most of Thursday trying to figure out how the fire started. But they said, there were oxygen tanks in one of the apartments that exploded.

"I was blown clear across my room. My window was up. I had a fan in it. The fan hit me in the back and I was chucked out into the hallway," said Michael.

Barberton police said one of their officers arrived on scene just before the firefighters got there. They said he was evacuating the house when that explosion happened.

They said he was cut. He also suffered a concussion, but he has since been released from the hospital.

Michael’s home was also damaged by the explosion and flames.

"We had three windows that were completely gone. I mean all the side melted down. We're just lucky that the only thing we lost is when they hit the water on it. We lost one TV. Everything else was absolutely fine," said Michael.

Some people in the neighborhood watched from afar, unsure of what was going on.

"We kept the kids inside 'cause I wasn't sure what kind of a fire, if it was chemicals, I didn't want them breathing it," said Cramer.

Fire officials said none of the injuries are considered life-threatening.

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