Stow apartment fire rescue avoids 'very, very bad day'

Jeff Saunders
Kent Weeklies

STOW — Firefighters rescued two people trapped by a fire that caused “rather significant” damage to two Mac Drive apartments Thursday afternoon, said Assistant Fire Chief Mike Lang.

“The first arriving engine company found a well-developed fire on the front balcony extending into the attic space of the entire unit with two occupants trapped on the back side of the apartment on the second floor,” said Lang. “They were rescued by using ground ladders by Stow Fire Department personnel.”

Lang said the occupants were evaluated at the scene, but both declined additional medical attention. No other injuries were reported.

Lang said the call for the fire at 1505 Mac Drive came in at 1:56 p.m. The cause is under investigation, but the fire began in one apartment and extended into another apartment and a laundry room between them, as well as the attic. The fire was brought under control within 15 minutes, but firefighters spent some time after that pulling down walls and ceilings, checking for fire extension and hot spots.

Lang said the two apartments are not currently habitable, but he believes they can be rebuilt. He said he also believes that the rest of the building, which he said is large, is habitable.

Lang estimated the fire department cleared the scene at about 4:15 p.m. He said no other fire departments were called for mutual aid.

“I would really like to commend the quick actions of the first responding firefighters who rescued those occupants off the back of the house,” he said. “Excellent job. Very quick fire knockdown and a very rapid rescue. It could have been a very, very bad day, for sure.”

Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at or @JeffSaunders_RP.