by Kathleen Steele Gaivin
A fire that started in Sagamore Hills late in the evening on Jan. 20 resulted in the total destruction of a house and at least three vehicles. The occupants and pets got out of the home safely.
The fire started around 11 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, closing Valley View Road between Sagamore and Chaffee roads until 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. The male occupant was asleep on the couch, steps away from the breezeway that led to the door into the garage, according to a press release from the Macedonia Fire Department. He woke up, smelled smoke and yelled for his wife, asleep in the bedroom, to wake up because there was a fire.
“This was a late discovery. The fire was well advanced when the occupants discovered it,” Macedonia Fire Chief Brian Ripley said.
Sagamore Hills police officers were first on scene and reported the entire garage and a couple vehicles in front of the garage were fully involved with fire.
Firefighting at the 12470 Valley View Rd. property was tricky, as the house was difficult to access, according to Ripley. The house sat 800 feet from the road, and “there’s a skinny little driveway that kind of goes straight up from the road,” he said. “It was a beautiful piece of property on top of a hill.”
The property belongs to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ripley said. Residents had been living in the on-site house under a lease from the National Park Service.
Multiple fire districts were involved in battling the blaze. Macedonia Fire responded with a command vehicle, three engines, a ladder and Ripley’s car. Northfield Village Fire responded with an engine and Valley View Fire came with an ambulance, according to the press release. The number of firefighters at the scene totaled 23.
“For every working fire, we get automatic aid, which brings an engine from the Northfield Village Fire Department,” Ripley said.
Unfortunately, there were no fire hydrants in the area of the fire. Tankers from Valley View, Hudson and the Valley Fire District provided additional water to extinguish the conflagration.
The Ohio State Fire Marshalls office was on site on Jan. 23, but had not given Macedonia Fire Department a fire cause or ruling as of Jan. 24. The press release stated, “Both the Fire Marshall and our Fire Prevention Bureau feel that the fire possibly started in the garage.” Estimated property damage is between $170,000 and $230,000. ∞