S. Toledo man critically injured in blaze


A South Toledo man was critically injured today after a fire swept through his apartment about 2 a.m.

Lawrence Cowell, a tenant at Clair Commons Apartments on the corner of Henderson Street and Airport Highway, had food cooking on his stove when he fell asleep, said Clair Commons president Patrick Shields. His smoke detector had been disconnected.  

Neighbor Albert Nickson heard pounding noises and saw smoke coming from Mr. Cowell's unit at apartment N2824, Mr. Shields said. Mr. Nickson alerted 911 at 2:05 a.m. and about six fire stations responded to the scene, Toledo Fire Department officials said. 

Firefighters pulled Mr. Cowell from his apartment. Mr. Cowell, who suffered from burns, was revived and taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, Mr. Shields said. Hospital officials said Mr. Cowell is in critical condition.

Mr. Shields added that a firefighter sprained his ankle by tripping over a fire hose.

Damages to the apartment are estimated at about $20,000, he said.