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Neighbor pulls child from smoke-filled home in Colerain Township

Home had no working smoke detectors
Kitchen fire on Yuba Court
Posted at 12:48 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-14 11:24:38-05

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A heroic neighbor pulled a child from a Colerain Township home that was filled with smoke Wednesday evening. The fire department responded to the fire on Yuba Court at about 9:30 p.m. Colerain officials said one of two children inside the home ran to a neighbor's house. The neighbor, Steven Johnston, said he called 911 before running to the other home. That's when he said he saw smoke coming out of the windows.

"The little boy sticks his head out of the back window and I just take off running and end up pulling him out of the back window," Johnston said.

Firefighters found the father of the two boys unconscious and pulled the man to safety. They said food was left on the stove which sparked the fire. There were no working smoke detectors inside the home, according to firefighters.

"There shouldn’t be an excuse for not having working smoke alarms," said Colerain firefighter Bob Rielage.

The Colerain Township Department of Fire and EMS is in its fourth year of the Keep the Wreath Red holiday fire safety program. Wreaths with 50 red bulbs hang outside the department's headquarters and all five fire stations. For every fire in Colerain Township during the holiday season, the department replaces a red bulb for a white bulb as a visual reminder of fire safety during the holidays.

Keep the Wreath Red
White bulbs indicate the number of preventable fires in Colerain Township during the holidays -- Dec. 13, 2018

"Another white bulb has been added to the wreath, meaning that there has been another preventable fire," Rielage said.

Rielage said even though the boys are safe, he's disappointed because a fire doubles in size every one to two minutes. Firefighters conducted a detector installation campaign this past October in and around the area of Yuba Court. Fire officials said no one answered the door at that particular home.

MORE: Colerain Township firefighters install smoke detectors in hopes of saving lives

Colerain Township residents are encouraged to contact the fire department for a free inspection of their existing smoke detectors, and installation of working smoke detectors. Email or call 513-825-6143. Residents who live outside the township can call the American Red Cross at 513-579-3003 to make arrangements for installing smoke detectors.

The Wednesday fire caused about $500 in damage to the home. The father was taken to the hospital.