Friday, October 08, 1999

Tenants jump and run to safety

Six escape after fire goes up wall

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        As flames shot up the side of their Mount Auburn apartment building, the tenants helped each other through the heat and smoke to safety.

        All six residents in the building at 1814 Sycamore St. escaped unharmed, one jumping into the arms of her neighbors from a roof. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the two-alarm blaze. The building remained intact.

        The fire appeared to have started about 6:35 p.m. in the back of the building near the apartment entrances.

        “All of a sudden we heard these screams,” said Beatrice Jordan, who lived on the bottom floor of the three-story building. She and her husband, Arthur, own the building and have lived there for 47 years. They rent the upper floors to tenants.

        Finding their telephone unusable, they made it outside to see their tenants helping each other out of the building. Flames shot up the side of the house, causing a pillar of smoke visible for blocks.

        A passing motorist, a WLWT-TV (Channel 5) videographer on his lunch break, saw the fire and used his two-way radio to call his station, which summoned help. Ms. Jordan thanked those who called, helping to save her home from more serious damage.

        “There was a wall of flames up the side of the building,” said Kevin Luginbill, the videographer. He heard the screams of two female tenants in the third-floor apartment and they scrambled to get out.

        One made it down a fire escape. The other, who identified herself as Treva, went out a second-floor window onto a lower roof and jumped into the arms of her second-floor neighbors, Merrill Johnson and Jack Sawyer.

        “We all made it,” Mr. Sawyer said.

        Cincinnati firefighters were investigating the blaze late Thursday night. The residents smelled gasoline and wondered whether they were the targets of an arsonist. Fire investigators could not be reached for comment on the cause of the blaze.


Judge dismisses city's gun lawsuit
Police adopt new rules on shooting at vehicles
call to rescue dog brings charge
Speedway's first test: 155 mph no problem
State leaders: Start preparing early for Y2K
Test season opens for college-bound
Tips on taking the SAT
Familiarity with SAT helps test-takers
Sauerkraut festival gets bigger and tastier
Events may clog county roads
Norwood mayor, police battle
Virtual high school to open in January
Med student grinds away toward 'someday'
Around-the-world walker still going
Asthma plagues youngest
Council investigates pay imbalance
End in sight for 'Love' and 'Realm'
Head Start workers rally today
Human bones found; officials scour area
Jury to decide accused killer's fate
Motorcycle leads police to tow lot's stolen cars
Sewers ordered for Green Twp. area
- Tenants jump and run to safety
Train kills man standing on tracks in Oxford
Water district extending service 12 miles
Young teacher's work wins $25,000