High School Evacuated Due to Nearby Fire in Bellaire, OH


St. John High School had to be evacuated as firefighters worked to put out a fire burning at two homes on Oak Alley.

The fire began at 3665 Oak Alley, recently left vacant, but with utilities still on.

‘We had heavy fire in the back of the structure. We was able to make entry in to the structure, get a very quick knockdown. Looks like it started in a bathroom, in the main part of the home, which it did extend to the rear,” Mike Reese, Asst. Fire Chief.

It spread to and destroyed a garage. The house next door had heavy heat and smoke damage.

They evacuated St. John High School, just across the alley,  with students temporarily diverted to the church. But they were soon able to return to school.

“A slight amount of smoke did make it into the high school. We had to go over and vent that out for them but there was no damage to the high school.”

The police chief says two weeks ago, this was the site of two drug raids.

“We had the two raids at 3665 and 3664, trafficking in heroin in bulk amount and marijuana in bulk amount, less than 30 feet from St. John High School,” Mike Kovalyk, Bellaire Police Chief.

People on the streets of Bellaire say they were not surprised.

“I think that Bellaire is going to the dogs and that people were just letting kids do whatever they want to do in Bellaire anymore,” Christy Brown.

“It’s been happening too often here in town. Could be, drug related,” Ray Smith.

Fire crews fighting this fire included Martins Ferry, Spirit of 76, OR & W, and Bellaire.

They say no one was injured and the fire was put out quickly.

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