Lightning to blame for Monroe retirement village fire

Heavy black smoke and flames were visible coming from an apartment building Saturday evening at the Mount Pleasant Retirement Village in Monroe. (DeAngelo Byrd/Staff)
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Heavy black smoke and flames were visible coming from an apartment building Saturday evening at the Mount Pleasant Retirement Village in Monroe. (DeAngelo Byrd/Staff)

All residents made it out safely

UPDATE @ 11:30 a.m. Sunday

Monroe Fire Chief John Centers said Sunday morning that one resident was released from an area hospital after sustaining minor injuries during an apartment fire Saturday night at the Mount Pleasant Retirement Village.

Centers said he did not know the condition of a firefighter who was injured during the blaze.

He said firefighters were effecting rescues of the third floor residents during the fire as the roof began to collapse.

“There were a good number of residents hanging on in the third floor hallway which was full of smoke,” he said. “There were several residents trapped in rooms and in the hallways. We were grabbing as many of them as often as we could.”

Centers described the Mount Pleasant’s staff as “phenomenal as they evacuated the entire building.”

He said it took time as staff was banging on room doors and searching the rooms to ensure everyone got out as the smoke was down to the hallway floors.

Centers also praised the many Monroe residents who came to help get the residents away from the burning building.

“There was an incredible outpouring of community support as people helped to get the residents out of the building,” he said.

Centers said the fire started about 6:45 p.m. after a lightning strike. Flames and heavy black smoke were visible from the north wing of the facility as the first fire crews arrived.

A number of residents who were trapped were calling 911 for help.

About 13 fire departments responded with more than 100 firefighters on the scene. Fire crews remained overnight at the facility extinguishing hot spots.

A news conference will be held at 1 p.m. We’ll have that covered and update this story as more details are released.

UPDATE @ 10:10 p.m.

A lightning bolt struck an apartment building tonight at the Mount Pleasant Retirement Village.

One resident was taken to a local hospital, and one firefighter was injured while battling the blaze, said the Monroe fire chief.

The roof of the building collapsed, and crews tonight were still working to put out hot spots.

UPDATE @ 9 p.m.

A lightning strike is believed to have sparked a massive fire tonight at the Mount Pleasant Retirement Village.

Monroe Mayor Robert Routson said the bolt struck the large apartment building and started a fire that spread through the attic.

“They did a great job and they got the people out of there,” the mayor said of firefighters who helped to evacuate the building. “What more can we ask for, other than not to have that damage. It’s a blessed day that nobody was hurt.”

Routson said he is appreciative of the assistance from a dozen different fire departments from the area that responded to the blaze. He also pledged support from residents and the city if help is needed.

“Mount Pleasant is part of our community, and actually they’re one of the hubs of our community. … If these people need hlep, these citizens of Monroe are going to come forward, they’re going to help out, and the city is also going to step forward if there’s anything this community needs.”

UPDATE @ 8 p.m.

Heavy black smoke was billowing and flames were shooting through the roof of a three-story nursing home at the Mount Pleasant Retirement Village.

Firefighters from multiple jurisdictions were called to assist Monroe firefighters.

Mount Pleasant offers standalone homes and apartments for independant living, as well as assisted living and long-term care on its campus near Ohio 63 in Monroe.

FIRST REPORT

Crews are on scene of a fire tonight at Mount Pleasant Retirement Village.

No residents are trapped, according to Monroe police.

The fire was reported sometime after 7 p.m. at a three-story apartment building at 201 Mount Pleasant Drive.

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