ELYRIA — A witness to a fire at the College Park Apartments on Tuesday afternoon said a boy was caught by his brother when he jumped from a second floor window to escape the flames.
Lorelie Wilson, of Wellington, was staying at her friend’s apartment in building H and leaving for work when she saw smoke coming from the unit next door.
“I was getting in my car to go to work and saw the little boy in the window screaming,” Wilson said.
She said the boy’s brother was able to catch the boy as he jumped out of the window.
In the excitement of the moment, Wilson said she locked her keys and phone in her car, and she went around banging on doors for someone to call 911.
Elyria Assistant Fire Chief Joe Pronesti said the entire two-story unit was engulfed when firefighters arrived at 180 College Park Drive just after 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
According to fire Capt. Kevin Szabo, the boys, ages 16 and 7, were alone in the apartment while the mother was out picking up a third child. The mother arrived on scene shortly after firefighters, Szabo said.
Both boys were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
While authorities looked for hot spots in the unit, Wilson held her Pomeranian named Coco as a firefighter placed an oxygen mask over the dog’s snout. The dog took a few breaths and then wiggled out of the mask, but appeared to be OK.
Szabo said a cat, guinea pigs and “nice looking” pet rats also made it safely out of the units.
Elyria Fire had backup from Lorain and Sheffield during the blaze. The cause is under investigation.