Sunday, January 07, 2001

Dozens displaced by apartment fire

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        PARK HILLS — When Michael Cousino heard the fire alarm in his Cedar Ridge Lane apartment about 7:45 p.m. Friday night, he grabbed his girlfriend's $20,000 harp and skedaddled.

        Saturday, as fire investigators continued to sift through the remains of one gutted apartment and assess damage to others, Mr. Cousino and dozens of other tenants waited to get back into the building to salvage their belongings.

        His girlfriend, Katy Mawer, was out of town at the time of the fire. But her parents came from Oxford to help Mr. Cousino move out of the charred 42-unit building, which fire officials said now is uninhabitable.

        “We'll try to get a truck as soon as we find out when we can get in. Hopefully, there will be some non-soggy things in there,” said Mary Alice Mawer.

        “I guess I'll find a paper and start looking for another place to move,” Mr. Cousino added.

        At least 36 residents, many of them single renters, were forced to search for housing after the blaze gutted a third-floor apartment and left about 41 others damaged by smoke and water.

        Fire officials said 36 apartments were occupied at the time of the fire, but only one person — an unidentified man who had lived in the burned-out apartment where the fire started in the dining room — was treated for smoke inhalation.

        He was released from the hospital, and Park Hills Fire Chief Dennis Finke said he hoped to talk to the man Saturday to determine the cause of the blaze.

        The American Red Cross provided shelter to 24 residents and will open a service center for fire victims at 8:30 a.m. today at 7723 Mall Road in Florence,said Chris Barlow, a spokesman for the agency's Cincinnati office.

        Fire victims may call 513-579-3955.


Police use force less than in past
Police brutality difficult to prove
Animal hoarders offend, perplex
How to deal with animal hoarders
City report opposes Olympic grant
Bystanders rescue stabbing victim
Reading police chief dies
Canada geese wintering here
Here's your chance to whine
PULFER: Oxygen bars new way to blow your money
WILKINSON: County has become bizarre hall of mirrors
BRONSON: Kicking Ashcroft
CROWLEY: Ky. tax reform mocked
Amelia woman dies in two-vehicle crash
Clinton mined funds, feelings here
Couple keeps wife's name; it takes 6 months
- Dozens displaced by apartment fire
Girl Scouts learn how to find their way
Golf show eases the cold
Governor gets 3 percent raise
Hamilton, Middletown vie for court
Jungle Jim's expansion to include retail
Kentucky Digest
Kentucky takes steps against sprawl
Local Digest
SchoolNet honors Mason High's Web site
Tristate's priciest homes
Two cities join in flood project
Villa Hills hires law firm to look into firings