A house on Delaware Drive was devastated by a fire Wednesday afternoon.
Fire Chief Jeff Branic said it appears the blaze started in the garage at 14140 Delaware, but because of breezy conditions, blew quickly into the back of the house.
Firefighters from six communities responded to the scene. Branic said firefighters entered the front of the house to attack the blaze, but were driven back by heat and smoke.
Two Strongsville firefighters were taken to the hospital after suffering what appeared to be either smoke inhalation or heat exhaustion, the chief said.
The fire was reported by the family's teenage daughter, who was home at the time with her mother.
Neighbors reported hearing popping noises just before the flames shot out of the garage.
"It sounded like a bunch of firecrackers. Then a girl screamed," said Suzanne Nemeth, who lives on adjacent Pearlview Drive.
Nemeth said she could feel the heat of the fire from her house, which is several doors down.
"It (the fire) was huge," she said. "The flames were shooting up."
Branic said the family was able to get out of the house safely. One of the family's three cats was taken out of the house.
One of the family's cats perished in the house, Branic said. The rescued cat was taken to an animal hospital for treatment. The third was not found.
The detached garage was destroyed by the fire, and Branic said there was "considerable" damage done to the house.
He said he had not been inside, but expected it had been severely damaged by smoke and water.
"My guess would be it's non-livable," he said.
The cause won't be known until an investigation is complete, Branic said.
An estimated 24 firefighters from Strongsville, North Royalton, Middleburg Heights, Brunswick, Brunswick Hills and Berea were called to help.
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