East Toledo duplex destroyed in overnight fire - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

East Toledo duplex destroyed in overnight fire

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Three people are out of their home after an overnight fire destroyed a duplex in the 500 block of White St. near Nevada St. in east Toledo.

Firefighters say a Jeff Goucher and his wife were asleep on the bottom floor of the duplex when the awoke to the smell of the smoke.  They were able to safely exit the building.

"If we hadn't woken up, we'd have probably suffocated," said Goucher.  "It even singed my hair and eyebrows."

The duplex is reportedly completely destroyed. The Gouchers lost everything, but they were able to walk away with minor injuries.

"It was like it hit me in the face - the heat, the smoke. I could hardly breathe," Goucher said. "I went to the door and opened it and I yelled for her. She didn't answer right away and I turned around to walk back in to make sure she got out."

Fire officials say the fire started in the front corner of the home, and it could have easily turned fatal. The smoke alarm in the house didn't have batteries.

"Smoke alarms can save a life. It's that simple," said TFD Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld. "It's unfortunate, this week we've had a few fires that were occupied residences that did not have smoke alarms, or it was found that the batteries in the smoke alarms were exhausted."

Smoke alarms are available for free at any fire station in Toledo.

The Gouchers are staying with their daughter while they try to pick up the pieces. A third person living in the other part of the duplex was not home at the time of the fire.

Fire officials say the cause of the fire appears to be accidental but they will continue with their investigation.

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