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Youngstown family avoids fire when nosebleed leads to hospital visit

Published: Sat, October 20, 2012 @ 12:07 a.m.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



A child’s nosebleed may have saved a family from a larger tragedy when an early-morning fire swept through their South Side home.

The blaze left 31-year-old Latasha Curtis and and her five children ages 3 to 14 homeless and with no possessions.

The three-story house at 75 Hilton Ave. often would have young children playing outside in the front yard and people sitting on the front porch enjoying the shade during the summer months. Now, the windows are shattered, soot covers the outer frame of the doors, and the charred remnants of children’s clothing are scattered outside the house.

“We lost everything,” Curtis said Friday. “We don’t have anything left. All we have now is what is left on our backs.”

Curtis said she was home with her children Thursday night with the oven turned on to increase the heat in the house. She said her youngest son developed a series of nosebleeds and she needed to go to the hospital, so she turned off the oven, packed up the kids and left the house.

That was the last time she saw her home and possessions.

By the time Curtis arrived back at her home, city firefighters already were there battling the blaze that started in the kitchen and then spread to the dining room and into the second floor. They were called out at 3 a.m.

Even though everything she owns was lost in the fire, Curtis is still grateful.

She said her child’s nosebleed and visit to the hospital was a blessing in disguise because she and her children were not home when the fire started.

“I honestly thank God that me and all my kids are here and alive because had we been home and went to sleep it could have been worse,” she said.

A fund has been set up at Huntington Bank under the name “Curtis Family Fund” for donations to the family. Curtis said her children do not have clothes for school, and she is not sure where they will be living in the short term.


1hollywood(94 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

GOD IS GOOD!!!! And he will touch the hearts of the ppl in our community to make sure this family get everything they need!

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2southsidedave(5118 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

A terrible tragedy.

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3kurtw(1358 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

..It's either a" terrible tragedy" or something that might have been prevented.

She sounds like another overwhelmed single women trying to cope- 31 years old with five children- the story doesn't mention a husband.

Heating with a kitchen stove is extremely hazardous- it's something no one should do, especially when the weather is mild. Was there a problem with the furnace? Also, if she had been home, where there smoke detectors that would have warned her. The story neglects to mention that.

This story ended relatively well- her house was destroyed but at least she and her children are alive.

My wish is that all the advocates of "single parenthood" (the left-wing) would read a story like this and draw the reasonable conclusion that encouraging single women (through the Welfare System) to raise children on their own, is like asking them to hold a loaded gun to their head and pulling the trigger. Dan Quale was 100 per cent correct in 92 when he condemned the Murphy Brown Episode (where single parenthood was glamorized). In the Black Community, Illegitimacy is up to 80%- there is no way a community or a country can survive with those kinds of statistics.

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4kurtw(1358 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Correction: I made the above post before I was ready to sent it (wanted to edit more- hit "send" by mistake: What I wanted to say, obviously, what happened was a tragedy- devastating fire always is and the family lost their home- but, a house can be replaced- people can't- at least everyone is alive and uninjured and I wish them well.

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5kurtw(1358 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

About the only thing that can come out of a tragedy like this is to, hopefully, go back and see how it happened. Fire safety is so incredibly important and so often overlooked.

I had personal experience of this in my own family: about 30 years ago my aunt and uncle were trapped in their upstairs bedroom by fire. They had to jump out of the window: they were both seriously injured and my uncle did not survive.

Later, it was discovered the fire was caused by an extension cord feeding an electric heater that had been run under carpeting. They had it covered in order to avoid a trip hazard.

Out of control fire is unforgiving- something that simple and overlooked caused a tragedy.

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