MILFORD — A couple who were out for an early morning stroll possibly saved a major portion of the downtown business district in Milford this morning, Thursday, Oct. 8. Because of their actions one business suffered fire and smoke damage while another sustained only smoke damage according to preliminary reports.
Ben and Jane Wilson, who reside at Henry and Emeline streets, were sitting on a bench at Milford Public Library around 1:20 a.m. today. While chatting, they noticed what they thought could be steam or smoke coming from the downtown business district.
The Wilsons ran to the area of The Turf Bar and California Desert and discovered it wasn’t steam, but smoke. Ben Wilson immediately called 911 and residents in an apartment to the north of the Turf Bar had been awakened by the smoke and inquired what was happening. The two occupants of the apartment were able to exit the building safely.
Firefighters from Milford were called around 1:30 a.m. and within minutes were at the scene. While one group of firefighters made entry into The Turf Bar, others began awakening residents in at least three other apartments in the business district. All occupants were safely evacuated from the buildings.
Immediate full assist from Turkey Creek Fire Territory and Plain Township Fire departments were requested, including Turkey Creek’s ladder truck.
The fire was brought under control at approximately 2:40 a.m. However, firefighters were still at the scene at 5 a.m.
Milford Fire Chief Todd Haines reported firefighters found heavy fire in the kitchen area over the bar in The Turf. Preliminary reports are there is smoke damage was sustained to the buildings at California Desert and the art studio of Susie Replogle.
Lutheran EMS Kosciusko also responded.
City utilities superintendent Randy Veach opened the Milford Community Building for displaced apartment occupants.
The cause is still under investigation.