Firefighters rescue children, adults trapped in Avondale fire - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Firefighters rescue children, adults trapped in Avondale fire

(FOX19/M.Buckingham) (FOX19/M.Buckingham)
Felicia Harris cries as she recalls Cincinnati firefighters rescuing her from her burning Avondale apartment building early Friday. (FOX19 NOW/Jennifer Baker) Felicia Harris cries as she recalls Cincinnati firefighters rescuing her from her burning Avondale apartment building early Friday. (FOX19 NOW/Jennifer Baker)
Lanitra and Mykal Stevens escaped the fire on their own. (FOX19 NOW/Jennifer Baker) Lanitra and Mykal Stevens escaped the fire on their own. (FOX19 NOW/Jennifer Baker)
AVONDALE, OH (FOX19) -

Cincinnati firefighters rescued two children and three adults trapped in a two-alarm apartment fire early Friday.

The 7:30 a.m. blaze in the 600 block of Forest Avenue displaced 11 residents, five children and six adults, said District Chief Mike Zimmerman.

When fire crews arrived, they saw heavy fire in the windows on the first floor of the four-story building. Several people were trapped due to heavy smoke in the stairwell and upper story windows.

One of the children and a firefighter were taken to the hospital.The firefighter suffered a cut across his chin. It was not immediately clear how he was hurt.

The condition of the injured child has not been released, but Zimmerman said at the scene the youth would recover.

The fire started in a first floor apartment before spreading to the upper floors. The cause remains under investigation.

Damage was set at $40,000.

While fire crews cleaned up the scene, residents huddled on a Metro bus parked along Forest Avenue to keep them warm from the cold. The American Red Cross brought in hot chocolate and cookies.

Felicia Harris and her son, Jahleer, 13, said they were rescued from their third floor apartment by firefighters.

"I woke up to the alarm going off and smelled smoke," Harris recalled, crying, as she held her son's hand. "There was too much smoke in the building. I went out the window and the fire department took my son down the steps. He was scared to go out the window."

She said she hopes her belongings aren't destroyed. "I don't know what we are going to do," she said. "There's a lot of smoke damage."

Some of her neighbors said they managed to get out of the building on their own.

Lanitra Stevens said someone banged on her door and woke her from a sound sleep. She grabbed her three children and ran out.

"The windows were busting out. Black smoke was everywhere," Stevens said. "You couldn't see nothing. The firefighters carried the children out. The first little boy was limp. They rushed right to the hospital."

She praised the fire department for such a quick response and rescue. 

"The firefighters were on it and got them out of there. The Cincinnati Fire Department are heroes today," she said. "It could have been tragic, but they did a good job. Material stuff don't even matter right now. Everybody is OK."

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