Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017
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SOUTH TOLEDO

S. Toledo apartments destroyed in afternoon blaze

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    Faith Kennedy tearfully hugs her dog, Luna, after Toledo firefighters rescued the animal from the fire at Andover Apartments in the 2500 block of Eastgate Road in South Toledo. Luna is a 5-month-old ‘pit bull’-boxer mix.

    THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY
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    Firefighters work to put out the blaze at what’s left of the Andover Apartments on Eastgate Road in South Toledo.

    THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
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Barbara Greer watched from a picnic table Thursday as firefighters tried to save the South Toledo apartment building where she lives from a two-alarm blaze.

Ms. Greer, 58, returned to her Andover Apartments residence after volunteering for Field Day at Hawkins Elementary School. She sat, hoping the fire would not spread further, but started planning where she would next stay.

“I’ve got my windows open, so my apartment is flooded with water,” she said. “My life is in there. Everything I own is in that apartment.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Fire at Andover Apartments

Firefighters responded at 3:15 p.m. to heavy smoke from the roof of 2525 Eastgate Rd. Within about 10 minutes, the battalion chief called for a second-alarm to the complex.

A cause has not yet been determined. It appears the fire started near the eastern inside wall, facing the courtyard, fire spokesman Pvt. Sterling Rahe said. “Our goal is to get enough personnel on scene that can mitigate the emergency,” he said.

There were no reports of injuries or missing residents, Private Rahe said.

VIDEO: Fire crews battle Andover Apartments blaze

Fire officials said they are not sure how many were displaced, and that it is too early to call the building a total loss. Residents of the building and nearby homes stood outside and watched the fire burn.

About 4:10 p.m., a battalion chief and crew inside 2535 Eastgate were told to abandon their posts. They were ordered to be checked by a life squad.

With one of the buildings on the verge of collapse, fire equipment was moved away from the structure, and command members worked to prevent the fire from spreading further within the complex.

Neighbor Mary Kosch, 54, said she initially walked by the building that afternoon and noticed nothing wrong.

“At 3 o’clock, it looked normal; 3:15, it was a disaster. It’s just unbelievable,” Ms. Kosch said.

VIDEO: Andover Apartments resident Matthew Rice responds to today’s fire

Alex Sharp, 24, returned home to find the apartment building and his car taped off. He was shocked by the fire that was near his own apartment.

“I feel like it just spread so quickly,” Mr. Sharp said.

Residents were being directed to the American Red Cross, which set up operations at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns’ Holy Family Center. The Salvation Army was called to assist firefighters at the scene.

Maumee Schools announced Thursday evening that donations of clothes, towels, and toiletries would be accepted at the Wolf Creek YMCA, 2100 S. Holland-Sylvania Rd.

The 60-unit complex, which was built in 1971, is owned by Andover Toledo LLC, of Bay Village, Ohio, according to Lucas County auditor records.

Toledo’s last two-alarm fire was a Jan. 15 blaze at the Woodlands Apartments building, 2403 Cheyenne Blvd., Private Rahe said. That blaze killed four people.

Staff writers Mark Zaborney, Mark Reiter, and Jay Skebba contributed to this report.

Contact Ryan Dunn at: rdunn@theblade.com, 419-724-6095, or on Twitter @rdunnblade.

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