Late-night blaze destroys man’s home of more than 30 years

Amadeus Smith

Firefighters from the Kent Fire Department work to put out a fire that began at about 8:45 p.m. at 1289 Carol Drive near Silver Meadows Apartments last night. The fire was under control in under an hour. DAVID ALAN FOSTER | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

As firefighters started rolling up the hoses, John Doyle stared at the smoke billowing from his house that caught fire just an hour earlier.

Capt. Charles Palmer of the Kent Fire Department said the fire began at about 8:45 p.m. and was under control within an hour.

Despite efforts from Kent, Ravenna and Stow fire departments, the house at 1275 Carol Dr. couldn’t be saved.

“The house is a total loss,” Palmer said.

Doyle declined to comment at this time.

As of last night, the cause of the fire was still undetermined, but the department will conduct an investigation this morning.

Palmer and area residents said at the time the blaze started, Doyle was still at work.

Becky Crapo, 18, said she was on her way home from youth group when she saw a “huge puff of smoke” on her street.

“It just started coming at us, and it hit us like a wall,” Crapo said.

Neighbor Aaron Ridenour, 13, said he went to see if Doyle was inside, and, aside from the cloud of smoke, he saw sparks coming from the basement windows.

The teenagers ran from one group of neighbors to Doyle and then to another group to spread news about the fire. They gathered around the firetrucks to discuss how such a tragedy could happen to a man that is always kind to everyone in the neighborhood.

“It just couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy,” said Eric White, 19.

Ken Vanderpool, 36, said Doyle was living there when he moved to the neighborhood, 30 years ago.

Palmer said the American Red Cross will offer assistance to Doyle.

Contact enterprise reporter Amadeus Smith at [email protected].