HOWLAND - Ernie Hawkins said that he heard a little pop just minutes before he saw flames shooting from the neighboring house at 1440 Raccoon Drive N.E. Tuesday afternoon.
The blaze, which broke out about 1:30 p.m., sent one person to a local hospital, killed three cats and severely damaged the front of the home and left smoke damage throughout.
The one person inside the home was taken to St. Joseph Health Center in Warren by ambulance to be treated for smoke inhalation. Officials have not released her name.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Virginia Shank
Area firefighters respond to a fire at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at 1440 Raccoon Drive N.E. in Howland. One person was taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.
The Trumbull County Auditor's Office website lists the homeowner as Brian S. Mahaffey.
"I had gone downstairs and when I came back up, I heard the sirens and saw lights flashing," Hawkins said. "I looked out the window and saw the neighbor's house on fire."
"I don't know if they located all of the animals," said neighbor Lillian Scutillo, who was caring for one of the pets, a dog named Jasmine, that had escaped unharmed.
"You hear sirens around here a lot," she said. "But when they stopped abruptly just outside my house, I realized something was wrong. I saw the flames. I saw them bringing a woman out, and I saw the dog run out of the house."
Firefighters noted that smoke detectors inside the house likely saved the occupant's life.
According to a news release issued by Howland Fire Department, a passerby noticed smoke and flames coming from the front of the bi-level home. Firefighters found heavy fire coming from the front windows. One of the homeowners was on the back deck. She had managed to crawl from the bedroom after being alerted by a smoke detector, officials reported.
The cause is under investigation. Damage is estimated at $80,000 to the structure and $40,000 to the contents, officials reported. Howland was assisted by Bazetta, Vienna, Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Cortland and Brookfield fire departments.