The smell of smoke and the ringing alarm wasn't enough for a Euclid man who was asleep while his kitchen caught fire. It was up to concerned neighbors to save his life.
"The kitchen was on fire, the refrigerator was on fire," said neighborhood resident Demetrious Brantley. "The fire was going from the refrigerator up to the ceiling until the fire department came."
Brantley was the man who smelled the smoke and helped rescue the occupants of the duplex.
Officials report that the cause of the fire was cooking food left unattended on the stove.
The resident of the torched apartment told officials at the scene that he was sleeping around 11 p.m. Friday night when a fire erupted in his Tungsten Avenue duplex. He woke to the sound of pounding fists and screams for him to wake up on his door.
According to the Euclid Fire Department, two neighborhood residents smelled smoke in their neighborhood. They walked down the street until they heard the ringing of a smoke detector in the duplex. The quickly worked to wake the man inside and evacuate the residents before calling 911. The fire department credits their quick actions for saving the mans life.
"When I came down, I heard a couple guys say the house was on fire," Brantley said. "I had to run to the neighbors house to bang on the windows to let them out ... because they were upstairs asleep with their children.
“These houses are connected, he could’ve killed everyone in that house last night."
According to fire officials, when Euclid firefighters arrived at the scene, there was fire licking out of the rear door. Once it was known that no one was inside, one crew dove into the house to control and extinguish the fire, and another worked to ventilate smoke and heat from the building.
Brantley credited the Euclid Fire Department with their quick response. He said three trucks arrived in under five minutes. He said he's never seen anything like that in the neighborhood before, but was called into action because the community is so close-knit.
Up to sixteen Euclid firefighters responded to the blaze and there were no reported injuries. Officials estimate that up to $60,000 in damage was caused by smoke and fire to the structure and contents of the duplex.