- 1 of 2 Photos | View More Photos
CUYAHOGA FALLS -- More than 100 people who were displaced by an apartment fire Thursday night won't be able to return to the building until Monday at the earliest, while others will have to wait much longer to come back, according to Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters.
Residents of the Studio City apartment building on Winter Parkway cannot return until the structure has been ventilated, doors have been replaced and paneling has been replaced by a restoration company that is "working around the clock" at the site, Walters said.
Four people, including a firefighter, were injured and transported to area hospitals following the fire. The firefighter was treated and released from the hospital, according to the fire department. Conditions of the other three were not available. Several others were treated and evaluated at the scene.
Cuyahoga Falls Fire Chief Paul Moledor said an estimate on damages is not yet available. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Walters noted that about 120 people have been displaced with 45 of them being assisted by the American Red Cross. Temporary housing had to be located for many of the residents.
On Friday, Studio City tenant Erica Scherer was at her ground-floor apartment gathering a few items to take back with her to the hotel where she and her family were staying. Since she and her brother and other family members live at the opposite end of the building from the fire, they did not immediately know what was happening.
"Around midnight I heard a bunch of people yelling and I yelled out the window for them to be quiet because we didn't know what was going on," Scherer said. "They yelled back at me that the building was on fire." Once she knew about the fire, she woke everyone up in her apartment and they and their pets exited onto the patio.
"Down there was just smoke billowing out from the end of the building," she said, adding when the fire department left around 2 a.m. she and her family were able to go back inside to retrieve some items. Scherer said her renter's insurance covers their hotel stay. "The other families who didn't have insurance they went with the Red Cross," she said.
Moledor said some residents will be able to return to the building sooner than those who live on the first floor. Walters said a Summit County Building Department official will assess the building on Monday to determine whether some tenants can begin moving back in. He anticipated that residents in some parts of the building will be allowed to return, while others whose apartment units are closer to the origin of the fire will have to wait considerably longer.
The fire originated in a ground-floor unit where a door was left open, which caused the blaze to "spread up and down the hallway," said Walters, who noted that unit is "totally gutted."