January 30, 2019
Dear Honorable Mayors and colleagues,
January 30, 2019 at 3:33 AM, Chagrin Valley Dispatch received a call of smoke in the hallway of a third-floor apartment at Beechmont Tower Apartments located at 27621 Chagrin Boulevard in Woodmere Village. Beechmont apartments are a four-story brick dwelling with roughly 200 occupants.
Woodmere Village first responders immediately sprang into action and quickly received mutual aid from Beachwood, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, Highland Hills, Lyndhurst, Orange Village, Chagrin Falls, Warrensville Heights, and other nearby communities. This incident occurred as Northeast Ohio was experiencing a polar vortex with temperatures dipping to 2° below zero and windchill factors reaching 35° below zero.
Woodmere Village Fire Chief, Johnny Brewington and Deputy Chief Dale Cohen report that there were no injuries and the fire was contained to the south portion of the building; we are equally pleased that there were no injuries to first responding personnel. The incident remains under investigation.
As mayor of Woodmere Village, I am grateful for the assistance of our contiguous neighbors as well as those who traveled some distance to ensure the preservation of life and property. The wind chill made it increasingly difficult to fight the fire as equipment became frozen and firefighters needed relief based on the weather conditions. Please know, the men and women who serve our communities as first responders have an extremely challenging job on best days; imagine battling a blaze with temperatures where frostbite can occur within 10 minutes.
We want to thank every responding community and agency including the Red Cross. Woodmere Village stands ready to return the favor at a moment’s notice to ensure the people of North East Ohio are protected whenever tragedy strikes. As Deputy Chief Dale Cohen correctly stated during a debrief, “If nobody was hurt, and nobody died, it was a good day!” I couldn’t agree more.
Benjamin I. Holbert, III
Woodmere Village, Ohio