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Firefighters kick in door, first clue for elderly man that house on fire

By:  Star Beacon - Margie Trax Page

ASHTABULA — An elderly man didn’t know the second story of his house was on fire Sunday at about 2 p.m. until firefighters kicked down his front door at 3834 Station Ave.

“The guy said, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’” Ashtabula Fire Lt. Todd Wilms said. “He had no idea the bed upstairs was on fire.”

Firefighters helped the man out of the house and extinguished the fire upstairs, Wilms said.

The man, who firefighters couldn’t name Sunday night, was not injured, Wilms said. Preliminary fire reports indicate the fire was caused by “discarded cigarettes.” The origin of the fire was a mattress in the second floor bedroom, Wilms said.

Ashtabula Township Fire Department crews provided mutual aid to the scene, fire reports show.

Wilms estimates the damage to the house at $10,000.

“We contained the fire pretty well, pretty much to one room, with some smoke damage to another room,” he said. “He was lucky we kicked down his door to get to the fire.”

Fire crews ventilated the house to clear the smoke and left the scene at 3:11 p.m., fire reports show.

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