14 homeless after fire in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – The fire at 108 Starr St. displaced 14 people who lived at the house. The Red Cross is working to locate temporary shelter for the residents.

MEDINA – A fire this afternoon on Starr Street has left 14 village residents, including seven children, homeless.

A fire call was reported at 4:53 p.m. when smoke was observed pouring out of four sides of the house. Firefighters were quickly on scene and had the fire under control in about a half hour. They doused flames in an upstairs bedroom and removed windows and vented the roof to let out trapped gases.

The house at 108 Starr St. is split into four apartments. It owned by Rosie Taylor of Lockport. She has three tenants, with one family renting two of the four apartments. Taylor has insurance and she said she will work to repair the house so it can be lived in again.

“I’m sorry about it but I won’t let it get me down,” Taylor said.

It took about a half hour for firefighters to have a fire under control at his four-unit apartment house at 108 Starr St.

Power has been out in the house since yesterday when tenants suspected the circuit was overloaded.

“It’s an old house with old electric,” said Robin Cheatham, one of the residents.

Her husband bought a new fuse today, but the house was on fire before it could be installed.

Medina firefighters and Orleans County fire investigators are looking at many possible causes of the fire, and didn’t want to speculate about the cause this evening.

Firefighter Steve Cooley said the blaze could have spread and caused more extensive damage. The house was built with a balloon frame style, which makes it easier for fire and smoke to spread between floors, he said.

“There are no fire stops,” Cooley said. “You could have a small fire and it travels between the walls.”

Orleans County Fire Investigator Walter Batt holds a charred electrical box that was retrieved from a house in Medina. Josh Wolck, a Medina firefighter, is next to Batt.

The fire was contained to one room, but there was extensive smoke damage throughout the house. Medina Code Enforcement Officer Martin Busch tagged the building after the fire and said it cannot be occupied until a new certificate of occupancy is secured.

The Red Cross is assisting the 14 residents with temporary shelter.

Medina Fire Department was assisted at the scene by firefighters from Shelby, Lyndonville and Ridgeway fire companies. In addition, Middleport, East Shelby, Albion and COVA were on standby at the Medina firehall.