Ohio Firefighters Narrowly Escape Smoke Explosion

Firehouse.com Editor's Note: Franklin Fire Chief Jonathan M. Westendorf told Firehouse.com that they are classifying the incident as a smoke explosion.

FRANKLIN, Ohio -- Firefighters spent Monday cleaning up after a fire that destroyed a restaurant and damaged two other buildings in Franklin.

Fire crews were called about 7:30 a.m. to Smith's PH Bistro on South Main Street.

Photos from the scene showed heavy smoke coming from the bistro and adjoining buildings, and fire was coming from the front door of the bistro.

A video shot by Kyle Henry captured a backdraft that blew out the windows in front of the restaurant. Three firefighters who had just entered the building managed to escape unharmed.

Missie Jeffery said she saw the smoke and knew the owner lived above the bistro, next to her hair salon.

"I started screaming upstairs for him to come out and just kept screaming for him to come out until he finally heard me," she said.

"Missie's the one who saved me," Tim Smith said. "She was the one who was yelling my name, and I woke up. I don't know how I woke up -- I'm a heavy sleeper.

News 5's Andrew Setters said witnesses told him the fire started at the bistro, which has partially collapsed.

Several departments sent crews to assist Franklin firefighters. Witnesses said everyone in the damaged buildings escaped.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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