Infant taken to hospital after suspicious fire at northeast Columbus apartment

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–A two-month-old infant was hospitalized after a suspicious fire in an apartment building on the east side of Columbus Monday afternoon. The baby’s parents were taken in for questioning by fire investigators.

The fire was first reported at about 12:53 p.m., in the 3200 block of East 7th Avenue, and was later dispatched as a second-alarm fire.

Neighbors say they alerted one another to the fire. Antoine Elmore lives next door.

“I seen the smoke coming out of the door and I ran over there and I snatched the baby out and put the baby to the side.”

Elmore says he and other man then went back in and dragged the woman out. Elmore says a couch was on fire and flames were spreading up the walls.

Elmore says he just reacted to the situation without really thinking about the risks. “Nothing really going through my mind – I just had to help, you know,” Elmore said.

Battalion Chief Tracy Smith says there was heavy smoke and flames on both the first and second floors when firefighters arrived.

“Luckily nobody else was hurt in this,”Smith said. “Now we just piece together the whole story and find out actually what occurred.”

Neighbor Alicia Griffin says she saw the smoke and immediately grew concerned.

“I knew there was a baby over there so I’m like, ‘God please, don’t anybody let that baby be in the house’ and they said they got the baby out.”

Battalion Chief Smith says the baby was taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a precaution and is reported to be doing fine.

She said the fire has been ruled suspicious.

“We have two of the occupants that will be taken down to our fire investigation unit to interview and find out the particulars for their side of the story,” Smith said.

While the fire damage was confined to one unit, there was smoke damage to other units in the building. A team of Red Cross volunteers arrived at the fire scene about 5 PM to work with neighbors and make sure everyone has a warm place to stay.

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