Springfield Township learns from Hidden Cedars fire

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, OH (Toledo News Now) – The Springfield Township Fire Department says they are learning from the fatal fire at Hidden Cedars in March, which brings the issue of building codes to the forefront.

The fatal blaze is the fourth of its kind in the past 12 years at the complex, which was built in the 1970s. Officials say the building codes back then weren't what they are now, but they are working to make sure that all condos and apartments are brought up to those standards.

"It's an overwhelming feeling when you have such a large building on fire and it's a challenge, there's no doubt." said Assistant Fire Chief Rick Hemlinski.

On March 25 fire ripped through the 24-unit building at Hidden Cedars, killing 2 people and reducing what used to be home to dozens into rubble. Officials say the building's construction left out fire stops. The discovery also made them wonder if more apartments in the area were lacking the same.

"This isn't just specific to Springfield Township, this is probably all over the country, all over the state, I don't know.  All I know is that Springfield Township is going to address it the best we can and hopefully make a difference." Helminski explained.

The department is now inspecting every apartment and condo in the township.

"Get up into the hatches, into the attics and look and make sure that those that were built prior to the code that needed to have fire stops have them." said Helminski.

Helminski says there are about 20 different complexes for his department to inspect.  The process started last week-- and will make recommendations to the property owners to help them make home safe for the people who live there.

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