Sunday, January 25, 2004

Fire destroys house
in Columbia Tusculum

Second home heavily damaged in 4-alarm blaze

By Anna Michael
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COLUMBIA TUSCULUM - A four-alarm fire destroyed one home and heavily damaged another Saturday night in this historic Cincinnati neighborhood, fire officials said.

The fire broke out about 7:25 p.m. in a two-story, eight-room frame house at 4124 Eastern Ave., near Lunken Airport. It quickly spread to a next-door dwelling.

Five people who lived in one of the homes escaped: an elderly woman, her 22-year-old granddaughter, the granddaughter's boyfriend, and two young children.

Leola Swinegar, the mother of the 22-year-old, said her daughter told her via cell phone that they had escaped and were standing across the street as firefighters drenched both houses. She did not identify the five by name.

The other house was vacant, neighbors said.

Firefighters at the scene told emergency officials that one of the homes was destroyed, the other seriously damaged. It was unclear in which home the five family members lived.

Lloyd Langdon, who lives on nearby Robb Street, said the flames from the fast-moving fire shot higher than the trees.

"I thought all of Eastern Avenue was on fire," Langdon said.

Dozens of Cincinnati firefighters fought the blaze for at least three hours.


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