A vacant house fire on Youngstown’s South Side destroyed the building and damaged a family’s home next door.
Crews were called around 5 p.m. Saturday to the 300 block of Lucius Ave. According to Youngstown Battalion Chief Jimmy Drummond, when firefighters arrived on the scene they discovered a heavily involved fire with flames threatening homes on both sides.
The wind direction saved the house on the left, leaving the house on the right to take the brunt of the flames. Firefighters had to call in extra crews for manpower.
“We were able to stop the fire once it got to that, but it was actually already to that house when we got here,” said Drummond.
The family that lives in the home that was damaged has been staying with the homeowner’s sister Lateia Carver and weren’t in the house when it caught fire.
“There was a problem here with carbon monoxide just about a week ago,” said Carver. “We was all home and my sister came home and said that the house was on fire.”
Drummond said they have gotten conflicting reports of people in the area and plan to pass on the information to the arson investigator.
A neighbor, who did not want to be named, said she saw a large group of teens in the driveway of the house and a few minutes later fire broke out.
“I didn’t see nobody go in, but on my way walking back down, I think I was in the house for three of four minutes and we seen fire,” she said.
The woman said the house had been vacant for several years.
Carver said abandoned structures are a problem for local neighborhoods and she is just thankful her sister and her family are safe.
“Right now, I’m mad. They’re all okay. Thank God for that,” Carver said.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.