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No injuries reported after Sherwin Drive fire causes $60,000 damage

by Andrew Schunk | Editor Published: January 22, 2013 12:58 PM
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Twinsburg -- No one was injured following a house fire at 2425 Sherwin Drive Jan. 19, though Twinsburg Fire Department officials estimate the blaze caused around $60,000 in damage.

The gasoline fire, which firefighters say began in the garage as the homeowner was putting gas into his Jeep, was reported at 4:11 p.m. by a man and his wife driving by the home, as well as by neighbors of the home, according to fire department officials.

The husband was in the garage attempting to extinguish the fire with a water from a garden hose when Kenneth and Laura Powaski, who live at the corner of Cynthia and Gary drives, saw the blaze and stopped their vehicle.

"We stopped and said, 'Oh my God! The garage is on fire! Call 911!' I don't think [the male homeowner] realized the severity of it," Laura Powaski said.

The male homeowner, whom Laura Powaski estimated was in his 70s, told Powaski that his wife, also elderly, was still in the home. Powaski entered the home and found the woman downstairs, watching television with a pet bird on her shoulder.

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When Powaski attempted to give the woman a blanket from a laundry room and escort her out, the bird flew away, and the woman started after it, saying "Please get my bird!"

"I just kept telling her, 'Ma'am, we have to get you out of here ... the garage is on fire,'" Powaski said, adding she knew the woman. Her son, Logan, had raked the couple's leaves in the past.

Powaski and another neighbor who had entered the home ultimately escorted the woman out of the split-level house. The man, upon discovering that the bird was still inside the home, went back in after it, Powaski said.

"I told him not to go back inside, but he went anyway," she said.

A Twinsburg police officer, first on the scene, went in after the man, and assisted him back outside once again.

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"[The man's] face had black soot on it when he came out," Powaski said. "There was smoke billowing in from the garage."

According to Twinsburg Fire Capt. Mike Hobart, the pet bird was found alive in the home after the garage fire was extinguished about 30 minutes later, and was ultimately returned to the homeowners.

The man and woman are living elsewhere as the home and garage are repaired.

Hobart estimated the damage to the home at about $60,000 and said the cause of the fire was "accidental."

"It was gasoline-related," Hobart said.

No neighboring homes were damaged.

"If we hadn't driven past when we did," Powaski said, "I don't know that the outcome would have been very good."

The blaze was responded to in minutes, Hobart said, by a ladder truck from station No. 2 on Glenwood Drive. Solon, Reminderville, Aurora and Oakwood fire departments also assisted.

Editor's Note: Reporter Conner Howard contributed to this report.

Email: aschunk@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9424

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