Two People Injured In Suspicious Fire In West Columbus


UPDATED: Friday March 8, 2013 12:25 PM

More than a dozen people were forced into the cold early Friday after a fire blazed through a West Rich Street apartment building.

The American Red Cross was on scene helping those inside apartments heavily damaged after a fire started inside a third floor unit at the Central Garden Apartment Complex at 1440 West Rich Street.

“I heard a lot of pounding, my living room was filled with smoke,” resident Carla Robinson said. “I opened the door, I got a gust of smoke. I ran back in, threw on what I could, grabbed my coat and came out.”

Firefighters said that 20 to 25 people had to be evacuated from the three-floor building.

Corinna Hurt and her boyfriend, Donald Obermiller, said they were asleep inside the unit where the fire began.

“I felt somebody pushing me like, you have to get out, you have to get out,” Hurt said. “I just started beating on people’s doors.”

Obermiller said that he tried to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher.

This is the second fire the couple escaped in less than a year. 10TV News reported that a fire destroyed their Wedgewood apartment on the city’s southwest side in June.

“I can’t like physically, emotionally, I can’t take it,” Hurt said. “Everything is gone.”

The Battalion chief told 10TV News that a 76-year-old man was taken to The Ohio State University Burn Center in critical condition with burns to the upper part of his body and a 33-year-old woman was taken to Mount Carmel West Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. She is expected to be Ok.

Arson investigators were on the scene and say the cause of the fire appears to be suspicious.

The structure sustained $100,000 in damages.

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