An early morning fire, on Tuesday, leaves one Bellaire home a total loss. Crews battled for hours not only the flames but bitterly cold temperatures.
It was a much different scene on Trumbull Street in Bellaire during the afternoon. Only a few fire fighters were still there and
the charred remains of what used to be a home, could clearly be seen. Smoke and steam continued to roll out from the ash, a few small flames continued to burn as the Bellaire Volunteer Fire Department brought in a bulldozer to smother the last few hot spots.
Fire Chief, Bill Swoyer, believed the fire started in one of the bedrooms on the second floor. He also said the bitter cold temperatures made things even more dangerous as the water quickly froze.
Another issue they encountered was trying to find a working hydrant.
“We know that we have issues with hydrants and we’re trying to get them repaired, there’s no finances to get them replaced,” Swoyer said. “I believe the village has allocated funds for five new hydrants this Spring. The hydrant that we did hit is the last one in the line coming up here and there’s nothing else in this area with more structures up this hill here.”
One neighbor, Fleda Ross, expressed how sorry she was for the family; “It’s a shame that they lost everything that they have; the family is glad everyone was okay, no one was hurt in doing the fire and everyone got out okay and the only thing they’re upset about is their grandmother and aunt’s ashes were in the house,” said Ross.
The house was situated less than five feet from Ross’ home and she too left her house with her son and their dogs until the fire was completely extinguished, in fear that it may have spread. Ross said her neighbors are now looking for a place to go with their three dogs.
The family is staying with friends temporarily. Clothing donations are being accepted for the two men and one woman who lived there. Both men wear 34-34 pants with L and XL shirts, and the woman wears size 16 pants with XL shirts.
Fire Chief Swoyer noted how well the Village helped as they brought salt to dissolve some of the ice as crews from Bellaire, Martins Ferry, The Spirit of 76, and OR&W, fought the fire with care provided by the Salvation Army Canteen.The State Fire Marshal’s Office was also called in to investigate.