CINCINNATI -- Seventy-year-old Northside resident Donald Robison escaped his Knowlton Street home of 36 years with his chihuahua, his fiancee and nothing else when it burst into flames Monday morning -- the third such fire his family had experienced in a little over a month.
This one, however, was worse than the other two. The interior of the structure, including nearly four decades of memories, was razed beyond recognition, and the repairs Robison had been making after a previous kitchen fire were all undone.
"Something's telling me (the house) don't want me there no more," he said, cracking a smile. "That's the way I feel."
With his home uninhabitable, Robison and his fiancee moved to stay with other family members in the area, but he said they were still enjoying the support of people in their neighborhood.
"As a neighborhood, we all just know each other, and we love and care for each other so much that when there's a tragedy, we're lucky that everyone just bonds together," said Lucia Jackson, who lives nearby Robison.
She said that she hoped to organize a fundraising event and food drive for Robison later in the month.
Despite the repeated conflagrations, Robison said he hoped he could find a way to repair his home.
"I'll soon be 71, but I spent half my life in this house," he said. "I'm going try to spend the rest of my life in this house."