COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A Friday morning fire in Clintonville claimed the life of a dog residing in one of the two damaged houses.
As of late Friday afternoon, the Columbus Fire Department was still unsure of what caused the fire, which started around 9 a.m. The people inside the homes were able to get out safely, thanks in large part to a group of local landscapers who were cleaning up some downed trees at a nearby home.
Brian Archer of Charter Oaks Tree and Landscaping was one of the workers. He says he noticed flames and told a coworker to call 911 while he started banging on doors.
“The dogs were at the door,” Archer says. “In the back of my mind, I knew if no one came to the door soon, we’d have to kick those doors open.”
The dogs in one residence did get out safely.
Archer’s coworker Joshua Keenum says the resident whose dog did not make it searched for his pet as long as he could.
“He wasn’t trying to come out at first because his dog was in there. I tried to go in and get his dog, but the smoke was so thick,” Keenum recalls.
The men say they didn’t have much time to think about what to do and instincts kicked in.
“I was meant to be out here today,” Archer says.