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Published: Sunday, 4/10/2005

Point Place fire spreads, burns houses, garages

What started as a garage fire yesterday destroyed that garage and damaged two houses and two other garages in Point Place. There were no injuries, fire officials said.

John Nichols, the occupant of the property at 3010 118th St., which includes a wood-frame two-story house, escaped unhurt by the time fire crews arrived about 5:10 p.m. and found an unattached garage at the property fully engulfed in flames.

At the time, Christopher Derbeck, the owner of the property at 3011 117th St., was protecting his structure with a garden hose, Battalion fire Chief Bill Sulewski said.

Fire crews had the fire under control within six minutes, by which time the fire had spread to the other properties.

They were the Nichols house owned by his mother, Nancy Geho-McCoy; a garage owned by Mr. Derbeck; the house at 3014 118th St. owned by Eugene Michalski, and the garage at 3007 117th St. owned by Jim Burns.

Firefighters efforts were hampered by the presence of a plastic can with gasoline for a lawn mower in the garage where the fire started and by the wind from Lake Erie, Chief Sulewski said.

The damage estimate was $16,500, which included a $7,000 loss to Ms. Geho-McCoy s house. The cause of the fire was unknown last night, the chief said.

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