Staff evacuates residents after fire at center

AUSTINTOWN -- The residents of Austinwoods Nursing Center were evacuated for about 10 minutes after a small fire broke out on the center's lower level.
Austinwoods Administrator Sally Beil said the center's residents were given refreshments while they were outside to keep them cool in Tuesday's 90-degree heat.
Beil would not say how many residents live in the center at 4780 Kirk Road.
No one was injured. Township fire Lt. Andy Frost said the center's staff helped to prevent injuries by the evacuation. Residents were already being moved when the fire department arrived around 1 p.m. Frost said the fire started in an industrial clothes dryer, and smoke spread through the air ducts.
Investigators are still working to determine the cause.
The fire was extinguished in about five minutes, then firefighters spent about 45 minutes clearing smoke from the air ducts, Frost said.
The fire caused about $20,000 in loss, mostly to food and clothes on the lower level. The residential section of the center was not damaged, he said.

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