MEDINA — An elderly couple lost their home to a fire Wednesday afternoon that apparently started in the kitchen while they were away.
Eugene and Velma “Jene” Stamm called 911 at 2:16 p.m. after they returned home to find fire and smoke coming from their kitchen.
No one was injured in the blaze at 618 Cedar St.
Eugene said he believed something may have been left on the stove.
Plumes of black and white smoke billowed from the back of the house and the attic vents as the fire spread.
Medina Fire Chief Robert Painter said the fire’s intense heat caused windows to shatter and the carpet to ignite. It took about five minutes to get the fire under control once firefighters from the city and Medina Township entered the home.
Painter said the cause of the fire is under investigation. He did not have a damage estimate Wednesday.
Erica Graffein, the Stamms’ next-door neighbor, received a call from another neighbor that the Stamms’ house was on fire and she rushed home to get her two dogs out of her house.
“It’s a neat neighborhood; it’s family,” Graffein said of the people living on Cedar.
Another neighbor brought out lawn chairs for the Stamms to sit in as firefighters searched what was left of their home for hot spots.
A firefighter brought out picture frames and family mementos salvaged from the house, and Jene examined each item briefly, dusting off the soot before letting a neighbor place them in a bag.
Another woman took the Stamms’ salvaged clothes to her house in suitcases to wash out the smell of smoke.
Throughout the ordeal, the Stamms were in good spirits.
“It’s just a house,” Jene said to her husband at one point, patting his shoulder.
“I know,” he replied.
Contact Kaitlin Bushinski at (330) 721-4050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.