By Karen Cornelius
Vermilion Fire Chief Chris Stempowski reported details of an apartment fire to the Health and Safety Committee of city council on Monday, April 10. He said the fire started in an apartment at 325 Nantucket on Friday, March 31, around 5:30 p.m. Fortunately, everyone involved was safe and the fire was knocked down within 15 minutes.
According to the chief, it was a working fire on the third floor that was contained to the one apartment. The firefighhters and police rescued two people. One was taken off a balcony by ladder and another was rescued through the smoke and out the front door. He said there were working smoking detectors for an early warning and apartment maintenance personnel there to make “Get Out” notifications. Ten of twelve units in the fire area were occupied, and tenants were displaced because utilities had to be shut off. All were back by Sunday when the electric was restored.
Chief Stempowski said it was a great job done by everyone including the Vermilion police, North Central EMS, and mutual aid from Vermilion Township, Florence Township, and Amherst fire departments. In total, 30 firefighters were on the scene with the last truck leaving at 9:30 p.m. So, it was a four-hour incident. The Red Cross also came to the scene to offer help. “It was a phenomenal knockdown, and everyone was safe,” summed up the chief.
The chief said this fire is under investigation, there is a lot to look at, and he is still reviewing all the statements.