A Hilliard family who escaped an early morning fire Jan. 20 did not lose everything: One of the family’s cats survived the blaze that destroyed the townhouse in the Parkside Village neighborhood.
Josh Saunders, part of the management team of Parkside Village, said he discovered Jinx, the family’s cat, perched on a pile of books only inches above almost 2 feet of water in the basement of the townhouse.
“It was pretty unbelievable,” said Saunders, who found the cat late in the afternoon Jan. 20 after the Norwich Township Fire Department had given permission for him and the family to reenter the burned shell and look for any items that might be salvageable.
After a family dog and another cat were found dead in the home, “it was a little silver lining that (Jinx) was found,” he said.
A candle was the cause of the fire that destroyed the townhouse in the 3900 block of Parkside Court in Hilliard, Norwich fire Chief Jeff Warren said.
The burning candle was left on the floor, he said.
A woman and her three teenage children – two sons and a daughter – safely escaped the blaze that destroyed the townhouse and damaged others in the shared unit, Warren said. They were not injured.
The townhouse is in a neighborhood south of Scioto Darby Road and north of Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park, 3800 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The mother was asleep in the basement and was awakened by an audible fire alarm that repeats the word “fire,” Warren said.
“The smoke detectors did their job,” Warren said. “If not for the fire alarm, there might have been a different outcome.”
The woman and her sons escaped from the ground floor, but the teenage girl climbed onto a second-floor roof and dropped to the ground after hanging from the gutter, he said.
The American Red Cross provided assistance to 14 people who were displaced by the fire, Warren said.
Among those were Travis Bender, 30, and his family.
Utilities were cut off to the several townhouses, including his, Bender said.
“I’m thankful for the firefighters who were here so quick (and) that no one was hurt,” he said. “It could have been worse.”
Bender said he lived in the adjacent townhouse with his wife, Brittany, and their two children, ages 4 years and 6 months.
“We moved here from my in-laws’ (in West Jefferson), and that’s where we are going back,” he said. “Half of our stuff is still there.”
Firefighters from Norwich and Washington townships, the Columbus Division of Fire and the Upper Arlington Fire Division responded to the fire that was reported at 1:49 a.m., Warren said.
Firefighters left the scene at 7:01 a.m., he said.
Is it yet to be determined if the entire 4-unit townhouse must be demolished in order to rebuild the destroyed portion, Saunders said.
Norwich Township fights early morning townhouse fire Jan. 20
A woman and three teenagers escaped an early morning fire Monday, Jan. 20, at a townhouse in the 3900 block of Parkside Court in Hilliard, according to the Norwich Township Fire Department.
The neighborhood is south of Scioto Darby Road and north of Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park, 3800 Veterans Memorial Drive.
Firefighters from Norwich Township responded to the fire at about 2 a.m., Chief Jeff Warren said.
The fire displaced the family of four and eight other people in attached townhouses, Warren said.
The American Red Cross responded to provide assistance to those displaced.
Warren said a cause for the fire is expected to be determined later today.
Check ThisWeekNEWS.com/Hilliard for updates to this story.