September 30, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
53°F

Multi-unit home burns in Guilford Twp., displaces residents

Seville-Guilford firefighters cut a hole in the roof to vent smoke while fighting a fire at 3133 Greenwich Road in Guilford Township on Monday. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY DAN POMPILI)

Seville-Guilford firefighters cut a hole in the roof to vent smoke while fighting a fire at 3133 Greenwich Road in Guilford Township on Monday. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY DAN POMPILI)

Multiple fire crews fought a blaze Monday at a small apartment building on Greenwich Road in Guilford Township.

Seville-Guilford Fire Chief Jerry Winkler said the former Traveler’s Rest Motel, 3133 Greenwich Road, is likely a complete loss. The former motel rooms are now efficiency apartments that residents rent by the month.

“The whole place is currently not livable,” he said. “I believe there are 13 people homeless as a result of the fire.”

Winkler said the electrical fire began about 1:45 p.m. in the kitchen of the east-end unit and spread almost halfway down through the attic. Winkler said the building has smoke damage throughout and at least three units were completely burned out.

Firefighters climbed up to cut holes in the roof to allow the building to vent, blanketing the area with thick smoke. The fire was put out by about 3 p.m.

Building manager Joseph Craft said he received a hysterical phone call from a relative who lives there and rushed to try to prevent the fire from getting out of control.

“I busted out the windows and tried to spray it with the fire extinguisher but I couldn’t see anything because of all the smoke,” he said.

Resident Joseph Bowez said, “I got a call from my girlfriend, saying ‘the place is on fire; you better get here,’ I was near the hospital in Wadsworth and I could see the smoke for about a mile.”

Bowez said everyone got out safely and his girlfriend was able to save their dog, Lassie.

Neither Craft nor Bowez knows where they’ll call home tomorrow.

“This place is everything I’ve got,” Craft said.

Bowez said, “I really don’t know where I’m going to go.”

Owner Edward Hanic of Barberton said he’ll likely demolish the building.

The Medina County auditor valued the building at $42,600 and the land at $61,300.

Seville-Guilford, Westfield, Medina, Wadsworth, Sharon Township and Wayne County’s Canaan Township fire and rescue teams all responded.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.