3-alarm downtown fire destroys vacant building

Published: Sunday, February 10, 2013 @ 4:06 PM
Updated: Sunday, February 10, 2013 @ 4:06 PM

A three-alarm fire destroyed a downtown Springfield building early Sunday morning while water from firefighting flooded the banquet facilities of the historic Asa S. Bushnell Building.

The 1920 Carter Jewelers Co. building at 12 N. Fountain Ave., valued at $70,180 according to the Clark County Auditor’s Office, was a total loss, Springfield Fire Rescue Division Capt. Dan Faust said.

Meanwhile, water used to put out the fire flooded the basement of the newer portion of the Bushnell Building, but caused minimal damage, owner Jim Lagos told the Springfield News-Sun on Sunday.

The majority of fire damage was contained to the vacant Carter building, owned by the Wellington Square development company. But smoke and heat damaged the exterior brick of the Bushnell Building to its north and another vacant building to its south also owned by Wellington Square, Faust said.

Wellington Square is a wholly owned subsidiary of the non-profit Turner Foundation.

“It’s an unfortunate situation for the community, but we’ll take a look at it and make it an opportunity that will take downtown to the next level,” Turner Foundation Executive Director John Landess said.

The Carter building, which had a 1960s facade, had been used recently as a meeting point for downtown holiday decorators and was formerly a bar, Landess said.

“It wasn’t keeping with the block which has turn-of-the-century store fronts,” Landess said. However, the developer had plans to do some work on it, he said.

The remaining building owned by Wellington Square also sustained a flooded basement and damage to its rubber roof and would be checked out by a structural engineer for safety. It’s had recent interest from potential tenants, Landess said.

Lagos said a contractor from water mitigation Code Blue — which is housed in the the 1893 portion of the Bushnell Building — was on scene early Sunday afternoon. He expected the water to be mitigated and damages repaired within several days.

The fire remains under investigation. It was not known if investigators would be able to determine a cause because of the extent of damage, Faust said of the two-story front and single-story rear building.

“As far as pinning it down to one thing, it’s going to be hard to do unless there was something going on in the building, a maintenance-type thing or something like that, that somebody can pinpoint ‘Hey I was working over in this area,’” Faust said. The division’s fire marshal’s bureau is investigating.

Nothing initially appeared suspicious, he said.

Landess speculated that someone may have pulled back a portion of the sheet metal exterior to the rear, entered the building to keep warm and lit a fire that got out of control. He also said the front door was unlocked, out of the norm for the development company.

The rear addition was being removed to make way for an additional point of egress from the Bushnell Building, Landess said. It was cheaply constructed and would have been easy to get into, he said.

It wasn’t clear whether electrical service was connected to the building. Fire officials said electric crews disconnected the building’s service after the fire started, but Landess said he didn’t think they’d had electric service.

Crews initially attacked the fire from the interior but quickly realized that it was too far ahead of them when fire began coming through the roof. “At that point … we pulled the guys out to go defensive,” Faust said.

After the bulk of the fire was out, crews tried to limit the amount of water used to avoid further flooding in the basements, Faust said.

The fire closed North Fountain Avenue between Columbia and Main Streets while emergency and clean-up crews worked.

5 firefighters, 2 residents hurt at high rise apartment fire

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 12:13 PM

UPDATE @ 2 p.m.

Five firefighters were hurt while battling the fire at a high-rise apartment building in Dayton.

The firefighters’ injuries were not considered life-threatening and they were transported from the scene on Belmonte Park North to the hospital for treatment, according to an official at the scene.

Some firefighters suffered smoke inhalation and at least one suffered a shoulder injury, according to Dayton Fire spokesman Bryan Adams.

Two residents were also taken to the hospital for treatment and at least one resident is receiving medical treatment at the scene.

The Red Cross has been called to assist in setting up a temporary shelter for the displaced residents.

The 10-floor apartment building has been evacuated and officials said it will be awhile before anyone can return to their apartments.

A major challenge for the firefighters was getting older residents, some who are disabled, safely out of the building, according to an official at the scene.

Officials aren’t sure yet what led to the fire, but our crew talked to the children of the woman whose apartment caught fire.

They tell us their mother was cooking and the fire started from grease in the kitchen of her eighth-floor apartment.

Dozens of people were standing outside of the building.

UPDATE @ 12:50 p.m.

We’re working to confirm that a Dayton firefighter was injured while battling a blaze on the eighth floor of an apartment building in the 500 block of Belmonte Park North.

Dozens of firefighters responded to the scene and many appeared tired and spent after putting the fire out and searching the building for anyone needing help.

According to emergency scanner traffic, a firefighter called for help while inside the building and working to douse the flames.

This newsroom has obtained the 9-1-1 call from a resident who reported the fire to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.

The caller told the dispatcher there’s a fire in an apartment on the eighth floor and reported seeing a lot of black smoke.

The dispatcher advised the resident to get everyone out of the building.

There have been no reports of injuries to any of the residents. 


Crews in Dayton are working to put out a fire at a building in the 500 block of Belmonte Park North.

PHOTOS: Black smoke rises from upper floor of Dayton apartment building

Crews were called at 11:47 a.m. and early reports indicated the fire is at an apartment building and some residents may need rescued.

We’re headed to the scene and will update this story as more information becomes available.

Monroe, Middletown EMS honored for efforts with heart attack patients

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 5:43 PM
Updated: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 2:27 PM

National EMS Week was established in 1974 by President Gerald Ford as a way to show appreciation for the women and men who respond when there is an emergency.

Two of Atrium Medical Center’s (AMC) partners - the Middletown and Monroe fire departments - have been honored for their ability to save the lives of potential heart attack victims which is critical to Butler County as the number of people suffering from this particular trauma in the country is staggering.

Middletown has received the AHA’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Award, while Monroe received a Lifeline EMS Bronze Award for their efforts to implement quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA) about 790,000 people in the US have heart attacks each year. Of those, about 114,000 will die.

The estimated annual incidence of heart attack in the US is 580,000 new attacks and 210,000 recurrent attacks. The Average age at the first heart attack is 65.3 years for males and 71.8 years for females.

Atrium’s Chest Pain Center Coordinator Kim Crout, said the awards bestowed on the local EMS teams recognize each for their efforts to work with the hospital to implement quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

“Both entities work close with Atrium and we really work hand-in-hand to help patients,” she said.

She said Atrium was accredited in November as a full Chest Pain Center from the American College of Cardiology and that has helped train EMS responders on how to reduce time for treatment during the early stages of a heart attack.

Dr. Ralph Talkers, medical director for Atrium’s Emergency Trauma Center and for Middletown EMS, said that the hospital has educated paramedics about using technology to help save lives.

Talkers explained that response time to a heart attack is critical and that is why both Middletown and Monroe departments have ambulances outfitted with EKG equipment to transmit information about the heart’s electrical activity in route.

“We recently had in the hospital a man that came in with a massive heart attack. We knew it was a critical artery we could tell by just looking at the EKG,” Talkers said. “We fortunately got him to the catheterization lab very quickly and he survived. He was actually resuscitated in the field. Symptoms are very critical in saving lives.”

Those symptoms Talkers explained include: nausea, chest pressure heaviness, shortness of breath, arms and jaw aching.

“I think it is very important that patients have to realize that they should not minimize symptoms. I can tell you from personal experience I have had family members at a relatively young age who unfortunately succumbed from heart attack symptoms,” he said. “They didn’t realize that they were having pain that was related to a heart attach and were thinking that their nausea and vomiting was caused by a virus.”

Crout said women need to understand that they may have different symptoms.

“It is critical for women to realize that they don’t always have chest pain. They typically have more of the back pain or severe exhaustion or shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting,” Crout said. “Their symptoms are a little bit different. But we cannot wait on the symptoms – the general public needs to understand the signs of symptoms of a heart attack and call 911 immediately.”

She added that 85 percent of damage to the heart occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack.

“So if we can open up that vessel very quickly we can decrease their chance of death and maintain their quality of life,” Crout said.

Talker said that the collaboration with local EMS departments, staff and the various trauma and cardiology departments has been a “wonderful process,” that has improved the opportunity to save lives of people suffering from a heart attack.

Search continues for male who went overboard at Grand Lake St. Marys

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 8:05 AM

UPDATE @ 9:51 a.m.

The search continues at Grand Lake St. Marys where a male went overboard from a pontoon boat overnight.

Montezuma firefighters and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources are actively searching the lake in the area of Safety Island.

Firefighters got the call at 2:35 a.m. that a male went overboard and needed rescued. Montezuma Fire Chief Ron Schulze said the search for the victim continues this morning.

Celina police and fire, as well as St. Mary’s Twp. firefighters are assisting.

Further details have not been released.


A person has reportedly drowned at Grand Lake St. Marys State Park in Mercer County, according to officials. 

Authorities tell WHIO's Steve Baker a person drowned in the lake near Montezuma around 2:30 a.m. 

Initial reports indicate a man went overboard while on a boat in the lake. 

A spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources could not be reached for comment. 

Our crew will be attending a news conference in Mercer County scheduled for 9:30 a.m. 

We will continue to monitor and update this developing story.

NWS investigating reports of storm damage in Preble County

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 9:15 AM

The National Weather Service is investigating damage caused by strong storms Friday night in Preble County.

PHOTOS: Strong winds cause damage in Preble County 

A parked rental trailer fell on a car at a Preble County home on Twin Twp. Road, according to a caller into our newsroom. 

The same caller reports significant damage in the area and claims the side of a barn was ripped of during the storm. 

A spokesperson with the National Weather Service said the agency is investigating other calls it has received from Preble County. 

We are working to learn more about the extent of the damage and the number of people affected.