The family of four’s house at 6520 Ohio 113, just outside of Berlin Heights, went up in flames at 12:26 a.m.
The cause of the fire is still undetermined, though he expects the investigation to be finished in the “next day or two,” said Andy Smith, fire chief for the Berlin Township Volunteer Fire Department.
The blaze started somewhere in the attached garage.
“The garage was fully engulfed when we got there and had already moved into the living portion of the the house,” Smith said. “It was coming out of the widows and doors of the house. The family was all in the house when it started, but they’d all exited by the time we got there.”
Smith said the family, which had no young children, operates a dog-breeding business. At some point, one of the residents went back inside to free dogs from a kennel. The man ended up getting some burns, which were treated by an ambulance crew.
As of Sunday afternoon, Smith said he didn’t know about the severity of the man’s burns or his health status.
It’s also unknown how many dogs were freed and how many perished.
Berlin Township firefighters responded with five units and 15 personnel, and received assistance from Milan Fire Department with three units and 13 firefighters, and an additional two units and eight firefighters from the Florence Township department. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office also responded with two deputies.
The departments were able to control the fire within an hour. Crews were on scene for about five or six hours to finish putting out the flames and making sure there were no hot spots.
“The structure of the house made it difficult to get to certain areas,” Smith said. “I can’t even put a price on (everything that was lost in the fire). The home is a total loss.”