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Five injured, one dead after fire at Loganberry Ridge Apartments in Richmond Heights

September 22, 2018

Five injured, one dead after fire at Loganberry Ridge Apartments in Richmond Heights

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio -- A man died Friday and five other residents were hurt in a fire at a Richmond Heights apartment complex, the Richmond Heights Fire Department said.

The fire started about 4:10 p.m. Friday on the third floor of the Loganberry Ridge Apartments in the 26000 block of Whiteway Road, Chief Marc Neumann said. A smoke detector on the third floor activated and crews arrived at the scene within 6 minutes. 

Firefighters were met with thick clouds of heavy smoke that forced residents on to their balconies, Neumann said. The property management company told the fire department 60 units were rented out in the 72-unit apartment building. 

Firefighters rescued about a dozen residents by ladder, but not everyone made it out safely. As crews made their way in to the building with hose lines, they also saw a resident on the third floor, Neumann said. He was carried out by firefighters and brought to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, Neumann said. 

Five other residents were treated at the hospital for minor injuries, Neumann said. No firefighters were injured as a result of the fire. 

The fire started in an elevator car on the third floor. It’s cause remains under investigation. It is not yet clear whether the fire started inside the elevator car or shaft, Neumann said. 

“The fire is suspicious,” Neumann said. “We just don’t know what caused it. It could have been caused by a mechanical failure in the elevator, it could have been caused by something else in the surrounding hall. It’s just undetermined at this point in time.”

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is leading the investigation with help from the Hillcrest Fire Investigation Unit and the Richmond Heights Police Department.

Fire crews on the scene included Highland Heights, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, South Euclid, Willoughby Hills, Beachwood, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Euclid and Willowick. 

The American Red Cross and the Cuyahoga County Emergency Management Agency are assisting those residents who have been displaced. 

This was the second fire that broke out on the third floor of a large apartment complex in suburban Cleveland this week. A massive fire broke out Thursday at the Chandlers Lane Condominiums in Olmsted Falls that hospitalized one resident and two firefighters. 

“When you look at these apartments, the major difference between these two apartments is the ones in Olmsted Falls, as reported, are wood-frame construction, with great systems in there, but these (in Richmond Heights) are brick and mortar construction,” Neumann said. 

“Wood-frame construction, when it goes, it goes fast,” Neumann added. “Brick buildings withstand a lot more, but they also withhold a lot of heat, as well, so you have oven-like conditions. In a brick and mortar, the survivability is generally better, but not in this case. This is a very, very sad and unfortunate incident.”

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