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FD: Passerby helped evacuate burning apartment building

Posted at 7:06 PM, Dec 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-04 04:37:42-05

MIAMI TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Six people were displaced after a fire ripped through several units of an apartment building Sunday evening, according to Miami Township Fire Chief Stephen Ober.

The fire started at about 4 p.m. Saturday at 47 E. Harrison Avenue. Passersby saw smoke and called 911, Ober said.

Josh Miller said he he didn’t think twice about running into the burning building.

"I ran in, started banging on the doors,” Miller said. “I got one lady down the steps.”

Miller said one of the residents didn’t want to leave the building.

"She smelled the smoke, but closed the door on me anyways,” Miller said. “I'm like, ‘Lady, you have to come out!’”

Ober said all of the residents were out of the building when first responders arrived.

"The folks called it in, actually saw it, actually got her out,” he said.

Vera Siegel has lived in the building for two years. She said she opened her glass sliding door and saw the entire facade engulfed in flames.

"I bought the Christmas presents for the little great grandchildren. They'll be gone,” she said.

But Ober knows the outcome could have been much worse.

"It could've been a lot different, especially the lady that was inside,” Ober said. “My understanding is that most residents weren't aware of it until neighbors and the passerby started beating on the door. It was critical that those folks stopped and got involved. It doesn't happen that often."

Miller says he just did what any good neighbor would do.

"It's good to help. (I was in) the right place at the right time,” he said.

It’s unclear where the fire started or what caused it, but the back of the building had the most damage.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.