Hamilton firefighters say a house from which they rescued four people, including a mother and her children, and four pets Friday morning may have been set on fire intentionally.
The first floor of the two-story house, which was turned into a four-unit apartment building, was fully on fire and flames were shooting from the windows and the porch when firefighters arrived, said Jeff Shaw, deputy fire chief for the city of Hamilton.
Firefighters went to the back of the house, where they used a ladder to rescue the four people from the second-floor apartments through a window, he said.
There was heavy smoke behind them as firefighters removed the people from the building, Shaw said.
When they put out the fire, crews searched the building and found three dogs and a cat, he said, adding that the pets are doing fine.
The mother and her children lived in one of the second-floor units, and they were transported to the hospital for evaluation as a precaution because of the amount of smoke that was in their apartment, Shaw said. The people who lived in the other three units of the building were evaluated at the scene and were not transported, the chief said.
The fire was contained to the first floor, but heavy smoke went up to the second floor, Shaw said.
Shaw says he believes the fire is suspicious because it appears to have started outside of the house and made its way inside. A fire investigator will examine the scene to officially determine the cause, he said.
The house appears to be a total loss and the Red Cross will assist the residents, Shaw said, adding that they received mutual aid from multiple jurisdictions.
Fire crews are responding to North C Street in Hamilton on a reported fire this morning.
Initial reports indicate a house in the 100 block was fully engulfed in flames around 2:30 a.m.
Occupants were still reported to be inside the home at the time of the blaze when crews arrived on scene, per emergency scanner traffic.
We’re on our way to the scene and will continue to update this story with additional details.
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