Residents want answers following complex fire

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) — A Beavercreek apartment building is badly damaged, followed by a large blaze Tuesday.

The complex is no stranger to fires and Wednesday, investigators searched for what caused the latest fire.

The state fire marshal office says the fire started on a second floor balcony.

No foul play is suspected at this time.

Fire damages Stonebridge Apartments in Beavercreek. (WDTN Photo/Beairshelle Edme)
Fire damages Stonebridge Apartments in Beavercreek. (WDTN Photo/Beairshelle Edmé)

But one fact they’ve confirmed is that history is repeating itself at the complex.

2 NEWS did some digging and in seven years, there have been at least four fires.

In 2007, there was an electrical fire on Valentine’s Day that later rekindled the next morning

Weeks later, there was an explosion caused by an electrical surge

Two years later in 2009, there was overnight fire.

And now the latest, Tuesday’s, has left at least 50 displaced.

2 NEWS’ Beairshelle Edmé did reach out to the property manager and owner; the manager declined to comment and the owner has not responded to her request for an interview.

However, 2 NEWS was able to speak with effected residents.

Those we spoke with say they too are waiting for a response from the complex on what happens next.

A firewall prevented the fire from spreading, but the smoke did and at least 18 out of 24 units are seriously damaged, either from smoke or the flames.

The main building where the fire started has been ruled structurally unsafe; in fact, while inside the state fire marshal said pieces of debris and the wall fell on top of him.

Burned rubble lies scattered throughout the front yard of several units, while a little girl’s bicycle is melted and charred by a patio.

Windows throughout various building are shattered and glass has aligned the streets.

Mike Federinko’s is one resident whose homes have been deemed unlivable.

Edmé asked, “Do you feel like you’re safe here?” He said, “No, no. My kids live with me part-time and they don’t want to come back here.”

And the resident may never be able to go back inside his former home.

Mark Preston has lived at the complex for 12 years and has witnessed each fire; he says the condition of the buildings is concerning.

“This is a 40-year-old property. They’re not in the best of shape,” Preston admitted.

Now following the fourth fire, Preston says he’s fed up and wants a prompt solution.

“I’d like them to let us know what’s gonna happen. I want out of my lease. I want out of here. I want them, you know, to take care of us. I don’t expect them to give us a lot because, you know, it’s not their fault it happened, but I expect them to do what they can to help us,” he said.

Officials say insurance agents and engineers will be on the scene to assess the damage and help residents.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross is stepping in with their crews to help before these assessments can be completed.

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