SIDNEY — Three woman were instrumental in alerting a man that his house was on fire.
At around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, Rosalyn Cunningham was driving with her friends Ryleigh Clark and Anastasia Reed past St. Marys Avenue when Reed spotted flames shooting out of the second floor windows of a house at 631 St. Marys Avenue.
The three women sprang into action. Clark parked the car. Cunningham called 911 while Clark and Reed went up to the burning house and knocked on the door. According to Cunningham an old man answered the door. Reed and Clark informed him that his house was on fire. The man came out of the house and looked up at the flames coming out of his house then went back into the house. Cunningham does not know why he went back into the house.
Shortly after the man went back into the house Sidney police officers arrived. They entered the house and escorted the older man out. Cunningham said the police asked her and her friends to take care of the man. Cunningham made sure the man, who used a walker, made it across the street safely then she and her friends stood with him while the police removed about seven oxygen tanks from the house. Oxygen tanks can explode when overheated.
Cunningham and her friends continued to stand with the old man when he said his grandson was still in the house. Cunningham walked over to a Sidney police officer and relayed the information.
Firefighters arrived and started spraying water on the fire. Cunningham then watched as firefighters put on oxygen tanks and entered the house. Firefighters eventually rescued a younger man who Cunningham said was screaming in pain and appeared to have burns on his forehead, face and hands. The younger man was transported to Wilson Health by Sidney Fire for evaluation. He was later transferred to a Dayton hospital for treatment.
According to a press release from the Sidney Fire Department, there was a heavy volume of fire on the second floor of the structure and one person was trapped inside the residence. The two-story, single-family residence had a well involved fire burning on the second floor and crews would be performing search and fire attack. A box alarm was struck to recall all off-duty Sidney personnel. Crews quickly located and removed one male occupant from the structure by cutting a hole in the exterior of the structure to make access to him.
Crews brought the fire under control within an hour of arrival and remained on scene to perform overhaul operations. DP&L and Vectren were brought to the scene to control utilities. Mutual aid was received from Anna and Lockington Fire Departments and Perry-Port Salem EMS. Additionally, the Sidney/Shelby County Salvation Army provided Emergency Disaster Services including hot coffee and food for the first responders.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Sidney Department of Fire and Emergency Services – Fire Investigation Unit. The loss to the residence, owned by William Butts, is estimated at $50,000 to the structure and $25,000 to the contents. The occupants of the structure are being assisted by family and friends with lodging and other needs.