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Midnight fire ravages north campus duplex

45 a.m. on Jan. 17, 2011.

Around midnight Monday, at 91-93 W. Northwood a fire broke out engulfing the house in flames. The fire started in 93. There was one female who was home alone. After going to bed she smelled smoke, got up and was able to evacuate quickly and alert the residents of 91. All residents escaped safely. They were not available for comment.

Battalion 3, Unit 2 chief Mark Devine said, “She said something about having a space heater going, she did say she had candles, but they were all out. You always think you put them out – you wouldn’t go to bed if you didn’t put them out.”

One firefighter was injured while inside the house. Devine said the fireman slipped and broke a toe.

The Red Cross Disaster team was on the scene within 15 minutes of the fire starting.

“We were already out reporting to a kitchen fire on the south side when our dispatcher heard about this fire. Our team comes to the scene, assesses the damage and figure out what we can do to assist the victims in regards to food and clothing” said Keith Angel, a Red Cross volunteer.


At least a dozen fire trucks responded to the call, effectively closing down W. Northwood between High Street and Neil Avenue. Neighboring residents watched the scene unfold.

The call for Devine was one of the last of his 38-year career.

With only four hours remaining before he was set to retire, Devine knew his final hours on the squad were going to be busy.

“I had a feeling, I had a premonition,” he said. “We hadn’t done anything for awhile and the odds just catch up with you, so you think something is going to happen.”

Ninety-one W. Northwood did not suffer from fire damage, but Devine said that it did experience heavy smoke damage. The residents were entering the house with the Red Cross team around 1:45 a.m. to gather personal items. 

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