CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland firefighters spent the afternoon battling a fire that destroyed two homes in the city’s south Collinwood area. Neighbors said the fire started at one home, jumped to another and threatened several more.
Cleveland fire officials did not release any details about the fire on Friday evening. Fortunately, no one was injured — and that’s amazing when you see the intensity of the flames that engulfed the homes.
Heavy flames poured from a home on East 143rd Street near Idarose Avenue in Cleveland. Within minutes, the fire had jumped to the house next door.
“I was watching TV … and I heard the boom and I could see the reflection of the fire coming through the window, so that’s when I left out,” said Charles Gunn, who told FOX 8 he lived in that neighboring house for 55 years.
Gunn said he lived on the upper floor of the duplex and his granddaughters lived downstairs. Fortunately, they all got out safely.
“The way it looks, it’s gonna be in pretty bad shape,” said Gunn.
“We seen the yellow house on fire and then it was just like a big flame and everything and then it traveled to the man’s house next door, and it’s sad, it’s sad,” said Mia Weekly.
Dozens of firefighters battled the flames for several hours. Witnesses said they heard an explosion before they saw the flames.
“I was at the gas station on 140th and then all you know, a big explosion, you just hear it. I pull over, both of the houses are on fire — complete fire. It was pretty bad,” said a man who only gave his first name, Jamel.
“I was coming from work and I was parking my car and I see something was popping and I look around and then I see it was a fire and I was like … so I called 911,” said neighbor Nowela Virginie.
Neighbors were not clear who, if anybody, lived in the house where the fire started.
Even people who lived on the street behind the burning homes were concerned the flames could also jump to their homes. One family came to evacuate their elderly father as blinding smoke filled the neighborhood for several blocks.
“I raced here ’cause I thought this house caught on fire. I was scared. I didn’t want my friend to lose his mother and all that. I was scared,” said Jeffrey Burton, a neighbor.