Fire frenzy

Perkins firefighters took a double dose of trouble Tuesday evening with a blaze at a Shady Lane home, followed by a suspicious fire at a vacant Milan Road hotel.
Shawn Foucher
Feb 12, 2014
Crews scrambled into action at about 6:20 p.m., when Shady Lane homeowners Mike and Donna Dresser called 911 and said their home was on fire.

Firefighters arrived within minutes, but smoke was already pouring from the home.    

See more photos from the fires HERE

After about an hour, the Dressers were still standing outside the home, watching as thick smoke billowed from the eaves. Crews set up ladders to reach the roof, then used a chainsaw to ventilate it. They then began busting out the front windows to further ventilate the home.

Donna cried as the shatter of windows cut through the night. She said the home’s furnace broke recently, so she and her husband got their two fireplaces working Tuesday to warm the place up. They soon noticed something wasn’t right, then the power went out.

They called 911.

“I didn’t even grab my purse before we got out” she said. “I didn’t think it would be this”

She and her husband loaded their dogs into their car, which was left running in a nearby driveway so the animals could keep warm.

Not 45 minutes later, dispatchers got a call about a fire at America’s Best Value Inn, at Milan Road and Ohio 2. The vacant hotel, connected to the old RoadHouse restaurant, had smoke in the hallways.

With Perkins firefighters wrestling the Shady Lane fire, they called Sandusky, Margaretta Township and Huron Township firefighters to provide assistance at the Milan Road hotel. No fewer than three dozen firefighters were at the two scenes combined.

Details on the Milan Road hotel incident weren’t immediately available, but Perkins fire Chief Keith Wohlever said he called in a detective to investigate, since the place should have been vacant this time of year.

The Milan Road hotel didn’t appeared badly damaged, but the Shady Lane home sustained heavy damage, firefighters said.

According to the Erie County auditor’s records, the Shady Lane home is valued at about $162,000.

As of 11:30 p.m., crews were still at both scenes. No one was injured.