Youngstown family avoids fire when nosebleed leads to hospital visit
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.