Rocky River police officer alerted department to fire; more than 80 seniors displaced


ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (WJW) – The community of Rocky River has been working to provide accommodations for more than 80 senior citizens following a fire that left a local senior center without electricity.

According to the Rocky River Police Department, an officer spotted the flames while passing the Rockport Senior Center Tuesday and attempted to notify their dispatch center, but was unable to reach them due to the blaze impacting power there. The officer then ran into the station, alerted them to the fire, and ran into the senior center to help with evacuations.

Rocky River Safety Director Rich Snyder described it as an isolated electrical fire that started in a transformer of the Rockport Senior Center.

No one was injured; however, the incident leaves no electricity in the facility, and thus no air conditioning at the senior home as temperatures were soaring on Tuesday over 90 degrees.

Occupants of neighboring buildings also report power was out in as many as four other buildings as well.

Fire departments from Rocky River, Lakewood, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, and Westlake responded and according to Snyder were able to quickly extinguish the fire. Seniors, who were evacuated into the outdoors, were transported to Rocky River Memorial hall where food and cold water were made available.

Snyder says some of the residents are now staying with family members. Others were shuttled to another facility owned by the same company as Rockport.

The remainder of the residents are being housed temporarily at the Courtyard by Mariott in Westlake is estimated that they may be out of their rooms for 2-3 days.

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