Photos by Kelsey Leyva | Oberlin News-Tribune Oberlin firefighters look into a wall where smoke escaped Thursday from a West Road home in New Russia Township. It is the second time in two weeks that a fire has broken out there.
For the second time in just nine days, fire took a toll Thursday on a New Russia Township home.
Oberlin firefighters rushed around 9:30 a.m. to 13676 West Road near the city reservoir, where they last responded Sept. 8.
The first fire was believed to have started in the kitchen, but this time Oberlin firefighters focused on the front wall on the ride side of the house. Light smoke and a black scorch mark were visible from the road as crews worked to find the source.
Fire chief Robert Hanmer said every utility has been off since the Sept. 8 blaze — no power, water, or gas. For that reason, he still isn’t sure what caused the second fire.
Julie Cobb of the Mendco Construction Company was the first person on the scene and immediately called 911 after seeing the smoke.
She and a co-worker were going to clean the damage caused by the initial fire.
Lori Cook and her husband and children moved into the home last year but the extended family has owned the property since 1984.
She was asleep at the time of the first fire and was forced to jump from a second floor window to escape the flames.
“I tasted smoke,” she said. “All I saw was orange and white.”
The intensity of the first fire melted the refrigerator to the floor, she recounted.
The family has been staying at the Hampton Inn Suites in Elyria ever since. Cook said it was sickening to hear her home was on fire again.
After about an hour of investigation, Hanmer said his crew was still trying to put together a list of probable causes.
“We have no reason to think it’s electrical because all the power to the house is still off,” he said. “This one has us stumped.”
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.