CINCINNATI — Neighbors on Glengate Lane helped each other evacuate, pooled their buildings’ fire extinguishers and successfully doused an apartment fire before firefighters arrived on Wednesday morning.
The flames came from the lower level, said Jermaine Fulton Sr., a resident who lives at the top floor of the building that caught fire.
“I had one (fire extinguisher) in my car and the other guy, he was going building to building, grabbing their fire extinguishers out the buildings,” he said. “And we were just dumping them onto where the fire was coming from.”
On a trip back inside to pound on doors and warn his remaining neighbors, he and others realized that the fire seemed to be coming from one apartment’s bedroom. They knew the occupant was a man who uses a wheelchair.
“We heard a phone ringing and so that's like ‘Somebody's got to be in here if a phone's ringing,’” Fulton said. “And it just instantly kicked in. We didn't think about ourselves. We just tried to make sure he was all right.”
They broke windows to get inside and fought the fire at its source, extinguishing it before fire crews arrived.
Firefighters helped get the occupant out, who was hospitalized Wednesday afternoon. He was unconscious but breathing on his own at the time of the incident, according to witnesses.
“I was really supposed to be at work right now, but I left early,” Fulton said at the scene. “It was meant for me to be here. I don’t know what to say, man. I just didn’t want nobody to die.”