Smoke Alarm Wakes Family to Devastating Fire

At 2:26 a.m. on April 11, 2023, Southwest Emergency Dispatch Center receive multiple 911 call for a house fire at 17017 Lanier Avenue. Homeowners reported the house was on fire — high heat and dark black smoke coming from the basement.  All occupants and pets had safely evacuated the house.

The first Strongsville fire unit arrived on scene at 2:33 a.m. and reported smoke coming from the structure, but no visible flame, indicating the fire was most likely located in the basement.  Fire crews immediately went into aggressive interior fire attack mode by two handlines into the structure and coordinated with removing basement windows to allow heat, smoke and poisonous gases to escape.

The fire was declared under control by 2:56 a.m.  Crews spent the next hour overhauling and ventilating the structure.

Strongsville Department of Fire and Emergency Services initially responded with 14 firefighters on two fire engines, two ladder trucks and a command vehicle.  The Strongsville response was supplemented with mutual aid resources from Parma Fire Department, Middleburg Heights Fire Department, and North Royalton Fire Department.

Early loss estimates to the structure and contents are estimated at over $400,000.  The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Southwest Emergency Response Team Fire Investigation Unit and remains undetermined, but electrical issues could not be ruled out as a possible cause.  There were no injuries to any of the occupants or firefighters.   

Of particular note, Fire Chief Jack Draves said, a working smoke detector provided warning to the family that a fire was occurring.  That working smoke detector probably saved their lives.  However, there were other smoke detectors in the house that were not functioning. 

It is vitally important to have working smoke detectors on every level of the house, in every sleeping area, to test detectors regularly, and, if possible, all smoke detectors in the home should be interconnected so if one goes into alarm they all alarm, Draves said.  It is also important to sleep with bedroom doors closed to prevent smoke and poisonous gases from entering your sleeping area.  With regard to electrical safety, do not overload circuits, avoid the use of extension cords, and use certified electricians for repairs and upgrades.