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Massive fire tears through Uptown Toledo apartment building

The Bedford Fire Department assists Toledo firefighters during an apartment fire in Uptown Toledo Tuesday. (Jim Nelson/WNWO).

Nearly two dozen people are without a home after a massive Tuesday afternoon fire in Uptown Toledo.

Crews responded to the Hymore Apartments in the historic Wachter Building on 16th Street around 4:40 p.m.

The initial firefighters who made entry were quickly pulled from the building as conditions worsened.

"They found very heavy fire conditions, high heat," said Pvt. Sterling Rahe, a spokesman for the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department. "Too much fire, too much heat for the hand line they had so orders were given to back out."

Officials say there were 16 units in the apartment and roughly 20 occupants, all of whom have been accounted for.

Many of the occupants said they weren't home at the time of the blaze.

Mia Lynch was a few blocks away when she received a phone call.

"Oh my God! My house is on fire," she recalled thinking. "Then I get here and everyone's like 'you can't go in there.' My cat's in there."

No word on her cat, but late Tuesday, the Toledo Fire Department tweeted a video of a dog being rescued from the apartment building.


Lynch says nearly all of her belongings were vintage. She estimates her losses amount to $10,000.

"I'm pretty upset. It's almost unreal. It doesn't even feel real that my house is burning down right now."

There were times during the fire where visibility would be reduced to zero even a block away.

While the bones of the building remain mostly in tact, the interior was seemingly a total loss.

"And that sucks," said Lynch. "That's my life."

TFD says it's too early to determine a cause of fire.

The Northwest Ohio chapter of the American Red Cross is working to assist residents.

As of late Tuesday night, crews remained on scene. Barricades block portions of 16th and 17th streets between Jefferson and Adams.

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