Saturday, July 24, 2004

Sharonville fire leaves dozen families homeless

By David Eck
Enquirer contributor

SHARONVILLE - A three-alarm fire in a 36-unit apartment building left a dozen families homeless and caused a minor burn to one resident early Friday.

The blaze, which brought firefighters from at least nine Greater Cincinnati departments to the scene, destroyed 12 apartments in the middle of the three-story building at 12101 Midpines Drive. Other sections of the building sustained light damage. Fire walls helped save 24 units.

"It kept (the fire) in the center of the building," Sharonville Assistant Fire Chief John Mackey said. "We saved two-thirds of the building because of the fire walls."

Firefighters were called to the apartment complex just off U.S. 42 about 1:30 a.m. and found heavy fire in all three floors and through the roof of the building.

Roy Arevalo, who has lived in the building since February, was awakened by his girlfriend.

"She heard windows bursting," he said. "She looked out the windows, and she saw the fire."

They made it outside with their baby without difficulty, he said.

"Everybody was running around making sure everybody else was out of their apartments," Arevalo said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and no damage estimate has been set.

Firefighters from Evendale, West Chester, Blue Ash, Montgomery, Sycamore Township, Forest Park, Woodlawn and Springdale assisted Sharonville crews.



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