Three families are homeless after a fire destroys their home

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Three families are homeless in the wake of a fire which swept through their Lower Price Hill home Saturday.

The fire in the multi-family home broke out just around 11:00 a.m. in the 1900 block of State Avenue.

Beverly Emery lives on the second floor and says she first noticed the smoke. "The apartment below me caught on fire and all I did was turn around and look because I smelled something and smoke was coming through the floorboards," said Emery.

Emery escaped with her 11-month-old son, but she says the blaze was too intense to take anything else. "After I got him out I was going to turn around to see if I could get anything and there was just smoke everywhere I couldn't see anything," she said.

Emery says the fire spread quickly and nearly engulfed the entire building. "It was just really scary. The whole sky it was gray and orange and brown, it was just all different color smoke, it was really bad," she said.

Next door neighbor Anna Stidham says the smoke and flames were intense. "I seen the flames come out in the back, it started from the back to the side somehow and it went up. It was coming out the top really, really high," said Stidham.

District Fire Chief Duane Herth arrived to find he and his fire fighters had their hands full. "The back side of the building, the basement area was fully involved going up to the first floor towards the second floor," said Herth.

Chief Herth says as the fire progressed he sounded an alarm to get all of his fire fighters out of the building. "The fire had great progress on us, got up into new construction. We weren't making much progress, I pulled everyone out of the building and shortly thereafter the roof collapsed," said Herth.

No one was injured, but Beverly Emery says the fire, smoke and water damage left little to salvage. "We lost everything," she said.

A dog and at least one cat perished in the fire and the building is a total loss.

This fire is still under investigation.

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