Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Man douses blaze


Quick thinking former fireman saves home

By Reid Forgrave
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LIBERTY TOWNSHIP — A former Cincinnati firefighter helped save his neighbor's house Tuesday morning by blasting a bedroom blaze with a garden hose.

        Regina Whittemore, 29, of Shafor Road, said she noticed sparks coming from an outlet where a window air conditioner was plugged in. Miss Whittemore took her 5-year-old son, Austin, outside to safety, then ran downstairs to shut off the power. By then, the fire had spread.

        Her neighbor, Ralph Nichols, 56, noticed something wrong. Mr. Nichols, who works at the Sharonville Ford plant, sprang into action. First, he made sure everyone had left the house. Then Mr. Nichols climbed a ladder, smashed a window and extinguished the fire.

        By the time the Liberty Township Fire Department arrived, the fire was out, Miss Whittemore said, and the only room that was damaged was the bedroom where the fire started.

        “He's a hero in my eyes,” said Miss Whittemore, whose hair and eyebrows were singed by the blaze. “I've thanked him about a thousand times.”

        Mr. Nichols said it was no big deal.

        Liberty Township Fire Chief Paul Stumpf estimated damage at $18,000.

       



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