Fire Displaces Dozens Near Ohio State Campus

Investigators were searching for the cause of an apartment fire early Thursday just north of the Ohio State campus.


The fire started at about 1:30 a.m. at University Village Apartments, located on Harley Drive, NBC 4 's Duarte Geraldino reported.

When firefighters arrived, they were told a man was hanging from a third-floor window, near the back of the building.

"He heard smoke detectors going off in one of his neighbor's apartments that woke him up," said Columbus Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin O'Connor. "He saw just black (smoke). He tried to go to the front door and it was too hot. He turned around and went to the window."

Firefighters used a ladder to rescue the man, who was not identified.

He and two other residents were transported to The Ohio State University Medical Center for smoke inhalation. Their conditions were unknown, Geraldino reported.

Two other residents were treated at the scene.

Investigators said the fire started in the kitchen of a first-floor unit and spread upward. The cause was ruled accidental.

About a dozen people, mostly Ohio State students, were evacuated, Geraldino reported.

A COTA bus was brought to the apartment complex to protect the residents from the below-freezing temperatures.

Many of them were students from China who were scheduled to fly home on Thursday, Geraldino reported.

"They were concerned about them obviously getting their tickets and passports," O'Connor said. "After the fire was out, we did help them get those out."

The American Red Cross was assisting those who were displaced and apartment management was working to find alternative housing, Geraldino reported.

Damages were estimated at $150,000.

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