SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio — One person is dead and two others are injured after a fire broke out in a Springfield Township home Sunday morning.
Springfield Township fire chief Robert Leininger said crews were dispatched to a home on Birchridge Drive around 10 a.m. Sunday morning. He said flames were visible from the front window of the two-family home.
Those flames also caught Debra Roberts' attention.
"I looked across the street and I said 'There's a bad fire somewhere, I hear a lot of ambulances going on,'" she said.
She later found out her family was in the home when it caught fire.
Leininger said crews found a deceased woman in her 60s in the house, as well as two people who were suffering severe second- and third-degree burns to their hands, chest and face. Roberts said the woman was her sister, Sherry Razek and the two burned were her brother and nephew.
"They got her out of the house, but my younger brother and son couldn't hold her," said Roberts. "She couldn't find the grandkids, she thought they were still in the house. She broke free and went back in."
Neighbors described Razek as a caring and welcoming person who was also a foster mother. Others in the neighborhood tried to help and comfort the family during the fire, with some even trying to go inside to get Razek out, but they couldn't.
"I would go over there as a kid, play the games with the kids she was raising as well," said Eric Finnell, a neighbor.
The men living in the home also lost most of their belongings in the blaze. To raise money for them and for Razek's funeral, the family started a GoFundMe.
The injured men were transported to University of Cincinnati Medical center for treatment. Authorities have not given an update on their condition, but family said one of them has burns on 25% of his body.
The fire is under investigation by the Hamilton County Fire Investigative Unit as well as the state fire marshal. Crews from Forest Park, Mount Healthy and Colerain Township assisted in responding to the fire.