Man dead, 2 children critically hurt in apartment fire

A man died and two children were critically hurt in a fire at this Kings Run Drive apartment complex early Friday. (FOX19 NOW/Dave Reed)
A man died and two children were critically hurt in a fire at this Kings Run Drive apartment complex early Friday. (FOX19 NOW/Dave Reed)
Fire officials say the blaze started in a second floor apartment and the man who died and children hurt were found in the top, third-floor apartment. (FOX19 NOW/Jordan Vilines)
Fire officials say the blaze started in a second floor apartment and the man who died and children hurt were found in the top, third-floor apartment. (FOX19 NOW/Jordan Vilines)

SPRING GROVE VILLAGE (FOX19) - A man died, a woman was burned and two children were critically hurt in an apartment fire in Spring Grove Village early Friday, according to the Cincinnati Fire Department.

Flames broke out at Winton Woods Apartments off the 700 block of Kings Run Drive just before 1 a.m.

The first arriving crews found fire in three apartments of the three-story building and several residents evacuating, according to District 3 Fire Chief Robert McWilliams.

More fire units were immediately requested, and firefighters knocked down the bulk of the blaze a few minutes later.

"As for the time we got here, to the time we got the victims out was just minutes, but unfortunately wasn't the result we always want," McWilliams said. "Our first-in company did a tremendous job, they were able to knock out the heavy part of the fire, which enabled our guys to get up to the apartment and find the victims rather quickly."

While searching the apartments, firefighters rescued a man and two small children from the top floor apartment, he said.

The man succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to McWilliams.

The Hamilton County Coroner's Office identified the victim as Piera Johnson.

The children were rushed to Cincinnati Children's Hospital in critical condition, McWilliams said. Children's Hospital and Shriners Hospital are working in tandem to care for the children.

A woman from a separate apartment was taken to a hospital with what fire crews describe as "burn injuries."

"She left her door open. She had a working smoke detector, responded to it, but when she went to investigate the cause of the fire, and when she discovered there was fire, she left the door open -- if you encounter a fire, your best bet is to close the door," said Asst. Chief of Fire Prevention, Sherman Smith, who added, that open door allowed the fire to be sucked upstairs essentially.  "And so that allowed for the fire to extend into the apartment where the victims were found."

Damage was set at $100,000.

The apartment building had operating smoke detectors, McWilliams said.

The American Red Cross and Cincinnati police assisted.

The three victims who are hospitalized are now displaced in this fire, McWilliams said.

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