Firefighter injured at scene of three-alarm fire in Madisonville

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

MADISONVILLE, OH (FOX19) - Crews fought hard Wednesday afternoon to put out the flames at the Centennial Station Apartments located near Redbank and Erie.

Witnesses said the flames shot through the roof and quickly spread to other units.

"When I come out, I saw the fire and then I saw all the flames and the smoke," said Joanne Johnson. "That's when I first saw {the fire.} It was just one building then."

Firefighters said several people called to report the fire.

"Initial arriving fire companies arrived on the scene, discovering heavy fire from two floors," said Cincinnati Fire Capt. Michael Washington. "Looks like a four-story townhouse development."

The fire broke out around 4:30 p.m. More than 80 firefighters worked to get the flames under control. Washington said everyone got out okay, but a firefighter was injured. He was hit by a fire vehicle. No word on his current condition, but Washington said the injured firefighter was alert as he was taken to the hospital.

Meanwhile, several bystanders stepped in to help rescuers.

Brandon Lipman and Jarred Barrow were walking past the complex when they saw the flames. Seconds later, both young men ran to help. Lipman and Barrow said they pulled several animals out of the affected units.

"We just immediately started looking out for people," said Lipman. "Hey, is everything okay? Yeah. I don't know where my dog is. Then we started looking."

"I have cats and dogs of my own and I just felt really bad," said Barrow. "Immediately, I saw that cat in the condition it was in. I didn't even think about it. I ran up right away and grabbed it."

The buildings were evacuated for a short period of time, but residents were eventually allowed back into their units.

Many said their hearts go out to the 27 families that are being helped by the Red Cross Wednesday night.

"I was scared for the people losing their homes," said Lipman. "That's where they come home to every night."

Investigators believe the fire started in a garage underneath the building, and then quickly spread to the top of the building. It is believed to have caused about $750,000 worth of damage. Still no word on what exactly caused the fire.

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