Hoarder Fire in Ohio

Firefighters Have Trouble Fighting Fire at Hoarder’s Home

Firefighters faced a difficult time as they try to save a Clifton home from the flames. The fire started on Bishop Street off Martin Luther King around 4 p.m. Wednesday.Local 12 News Reporter Angela Ingram says firefighters said they couldn’t even find the staircase to the second floor. It only took them 20 minutes to put the fire out – but if the home hadn’t been cluttered, crews say it would’ve gone a lot faster.

Neighbors came home to see their street blocked off. Fire crews were working to put out flames at a single family home is on the 3100 block of Bishop. “I saw lots of vehicles, lots of lights, everyone facing this direction and I saw them with a cot so I was really worried somebody was injured.”

The man who lives in the home wasn’t home at the time of the fire.  But flames destroyed his house because firefighters say at one point, they had to pull crews out. “There’s a lot of stuff in there for lack of a better term, it’s like a hoarding situation. So it made it difficult for the companies to find the second floor, to find the stairway to get to the second floor.”

The clutter made it harder for crews to put out the flames. “You have the extra weight of the contents on the floor. If the fire was in the basement and weakened the floor, all of our firefighters were going to fall through the floor into the basement.”

Says the man’s neighbor, “He’s a photographer, he got all of his work, his collection of stuff. He’s going to be devastated and I’m worried about him because this is going to be hard on him.”

When crews first showed up – they found flames on the side of the building. The home is being renovated. Investigators think a worker accidentally caused it by using a torch to remove paint from the outside of the house. The worker didn’t realize he set the fire and went to lunch.

Firefighters say there was another complication. The home has no fire stops between its floors. So the flames traveled easily from floor to floor.

Crews say the fire caused roughly $50,000 in damage.