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'Close it behind you': Fire chief said closed door saved others in apartment fire

Westwood apartment fire
Posted at 7:10 PM, Dec 01, 2021

CINCINNATI — A fire broke out in a Westwood apartment building on Wednesday, forcing residents to evacuate as smoke filled the hallways.

"The whole hallway went black as soon as we opened it," said Lt. Chad Lumpkin, one of the first firefighters on scene.

No one was hurt in the blaze.

It took less than two minutes to beat down the flames, but a resident sleeping in the apartment upstairs said popping glass windows and heavy smoke were what alerted her.

"I'm trying to put clothes on, I couldn't find my keys, I couldn't find anything, so I just said, 'Forget it,' and I ran out," said Alexus Campbell, whose bedroom was directly above the basement unit on fire.

The bedroom in a garden-level apartment caught fire. The only resident inside made it out safely.

District 3 Fire Chief Craig Coburn said the fire was contained because the door to the apartment was closed after the resident made it out.

"Close it behind you, leave it on fire and that keeps it in that apartment," he said. "The rest of the building is fine."

Fire officials did not release information on what may have caused the fire.