CLEVELAND, Ohio – Nancy Garnett-Smith heard the loud noise that pulsed through the neighborhood and ran to her window, only to see debris and flowers flying near her home on Mannering Road.
She stepped out on her porch and saw her neighbor’s porch engulfed in flames. Its roof was caving in, she said.
“Then I heard someone screaming and saying, ‘Hurry up and get out; the house is on fire,” Garnett-Smith said, adding that she was fortunate to save some of her family photos, but she lost all her of children’s high school diplomas in the fire.
“I lost almost everything,” she cried.
Authorities said a windswept fire caused more than $600,000 in loss and damaged five houses on Mannering and Quentin roads in the Euclid-Green neighborhood on the city’s East Side about 5 p.m. Thursday. Two garages and a dozen vehicles also were damaged.
Authorities are investigating the cause.
No deaths or serious injuries were reported. Seventeen fire companies and 80 firefighters responded to the scene. High winds stoked the fire, allowing it to jump to the homes of neighbors.
Neighbors said they feared that firefighters lost water pressure while trying to contain the fire. Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer reached out to the Cleveland Division of Fire for comment about the water pressure.
Garnett-Smith said she became afraid when she saw her neighbor run back in his home that was burning down to save his dog, she said. Shortly after, there was another loud noise that came from the home, Garnett-Smith said.
The wind quickly spread the fire to Garnett-Smith’s home, another house and the garages that were located behind the homes.
Mike Hancock lives in the apartment above Garnett-Smith. He found his home destroyed when he got off work.
“I’ve had better days,” Hancock said. “I’m just glad no one was killed.”
In a release, Cleveland firefighters put the damage estimate at more than $600,000. The homes were duplexes and next door to each other.
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