CINCINNATI — Several fire departments were called to an apartment building fire in Avondale early Friday.
The fire was first reported at about 7:30 a.m. at a home in the 600 block of Forest Avenue near Washington Avenue.
Firefighters said the fire started on the first floor of the building.
Crews said the fire forced nearly two-dozen people from their homes.
“[There was] banging on the door, at almost seven in the morning. ‘Get out get, there’s it’s a fire, a fire,’” resident Felicia Harris said.
Rescuers said five people had to be rescued, including two children. A child and an adult had to be taken to an area hospital for evaluation.
Harris said her family was among the people that firefighters had to rescue when the smoke started rising.
“We couldn’t go down the steps because there was so much smoke. So I opened up the window to yell for help,” Harris said.
A firefighter who was injured suffered cuts to his face while trying to rescue people in the building.
In addition to the danger of the fire, crews said they had to work in rotations because of the brutal cold.
Meanwhile, a Metro bus was brought in to help keep the displaced safe from the cold.
While the victims lost their homes, most said they were just happy to be uninjured.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do now. I’m just happy everybody is OK though,” resident Lanitra Stevens said.
One of the victims told firefighters the fire started in her unit but she doesn’t know how. The victim said she noticed black smoke from her bedroom and when she realized that it had enveloped the apartment she ran out of the building.
Fire investigators are looking into how the fire started and the Red Cross is helping those displaced.