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Heroic neighbor released from hospital

Climbed balcony, saved neighbor from fire

From Staff Reports Published: February 15, 2017 12:00 AM
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TWINSBURG -- A 45-year-old female resident is uninjured and an heroic neighbor has been released from the hospital following a three-alarm fire at Whitewood Apartments in Twinsburg Feb. 11.

The Twinsburg Fire Department says the neighbor, whom Fox 8 News in Cleveland identified as U.S. Navy veteran Wade Wooten, saw flames coming from an apartment two units down in the 4-unit complex, "climbed to the second story rear balcony [at the fire-stricken apartment], woke up the sleeping resident and both parties jumped to safety from the rear balcony."

The apartment resident's four dogs were lost in the fire. The fire remains under investigation, Twinsburg Fire Chief Tim Morgan said Feb. 13.

According to Morgan, Wooten "took today off from work" after being treated for smoke inhalation. He was released from a local hospital early today. No other injuries were reported and no firefighters were injured in the blaze, Morgan said.

The affected resident is staying with family and the Red Cross has been on scene to assist, according to a release from the Twinsburg Fire Department. All other residents have returned to their apartments, Morgan said.

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According to firefighters, the Twinsburg Fire Department responded with an engine and ladder company to Whitewood Apartments "to a working fire" at 4:51 p.m.

Frefighters say they found the end apartment of the 4-unit complex fully engulfed with "heavy black smoke and flames coming out the front and rear of the apartment," according to a release. Twinsburg Firefighters made an aggressive interior attack and quickly brought the blaze under control.

Mutual aid was provided by Solon, Macedonia, Oakwood Village, Reminderville, Hudson and Orange Village fire and EMS departments, with at least 35 firefighters helping to extinguish the fire.

Because the complex was built from pre-cast reinforced concrete, the adjoining apartments suffered "minimal damage" and remain habitable, Morgan said. The apartment where the blaze occurred "is a total loss," Morgan said.

"It makes for a tough fire fight -- it's like an oven -- but it does save the surrounding structures," Morgan said.

Check back at www.twinsburgbulletin.com for updates to this story.


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