Rob Steinmeyer examines the damage a fire caused to the Findlay home he shared with Cy Drakeford, 23. Mr. Steinmeyer, 25, says Mr. Drakeford tried to reach his son, Jadyn Drakeford, 3, several times before firefighters arrived yesterday.
FINDLAY - Jadyn Drakeford was fast asleep on the floor of his bedroom yesterday morning when he slowly began inhaling the thick, black smoke coming from the rear of a house.
Last night, the 3-year-old boy who suffered smoke inhalation was in critical condition at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.
Findlay firefighters responded to 1215 South Blanchard St. at about 8:25 a.m. after receiving a call minutes earlier. Once there, they found Cy Drakeford, 23, outside, screaming that his son, Jadyn, was inside.
"He tried to run in there twice, but the smoke was so thick," said Robert Steinmeyer, 25, who said he also lived in the 1 1/2-story home and was treated in Blanchard Valley Regional Health Center for smoke inhalation.
"Something at the back of the dryer caught on fire," he added. "We couldn't see nothing because of the smoke."
Jadyn at age 1
Within three minutes of the fire department's arrival, the boy was rescued and taken to Blanchard Valley hospital and then to Toledo, said Fire Chief Roy DeVore.
The fire, which officials believe started in a back utility room, was under control at about 8:40 a.m., he said.
Mr. Drakeford, reached at the hospital, declined to comment.
His roommate, Mr. Steinmeyer, who was back at the house yesterday afternoon, said Jadyn was visiting his dad and was sleeping in his first-floor bedroom on the floor when the fire was discovered.
Findlay fire officials estimated that the damage to Mr. Drakeford's home and contents was about $30,000. Although a final ruling was not made as to the fire's cause, investigators suspect that it was electrical in nature and therefore accidental. There were working smoke detectors in the home, according to the fire department.
Yesterday's fire was only about one week after Findlay firefighters responded to another house fire. Crystal E. Greiner, a day shy of 18, died on Dec. 21 of smoke inhalation after a fire ravaged her home.
Miss Greiner was asleep in an upstairs bedroom when fire broke out in the home's living room about 12:30 a.m. Fire investigators said the family's Christmas tree fell onto the couch, and the hot, broken lights ignited the fire.