Family left homeless after Old South End house fire

A duplex at 1444 Colton St. is engulfed in flames.
A duplex at 1444 Colton St. is engulfed in flames.

Four people, including two small children, were left homeless after a fire destroyed their home in Toledo's Old South End.

Howard Thorton, 47, said he lived in the house in the 1400 block of Colton Street, near Spencer Street, with his girlfriend, Latasha Bell, and his two children, Hayden Thorton, 1, and Kelly Thorton, 5.

The fire was dispatched at 9:51 a.m., said Toledo fire Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld. He added that the fire was knocked down in about 10 minutes.

Mr. Thorton said he and his family were sleeping when they were awakened by the sound of smoke detectors. The fire, he said, started on the front porch and the flames were so heavy the family had to flee out of the back door.

Everyone got out safely, he said.

Mr. Thorton believes the fire started because of an electric heater that was on the front porch, although fire officials had not made a determination at about 11 a.m. today.

The Red Cross was called and planned to provide the family food, shelter, and clothing.

An adjacent home was also damaged by the flames.