LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio - For the second time in two years, residents living in a Liberty Township apartment complex in Trumbull County had to be rescued from a burning building by firefighters.
Sherry Brooks, 30, was stunned when she received a phone call around 4:30 Monday morning from her neighbor who said the building was on fire again.
Brooks woke up her 6-year-old son, James Hall, grabbed some clothes and ran to their third floor balcony, as smoke billowed around them at Timberidge Apartments on Holly Drive.
During a call to 911, Brooks told a dispatcher, "There's a fire in my apartment building and we are trapped on the balcony... me and my son are on the balcony because there's too much smoke and we can't get out."
Firefighters brought a ladder up to the balcony and saved the mother and son. Five other people, including a young girl, were also rescued from windows and other balconies by Liberty Township firefighters.
"That part freaks me out even more, just waiting there for somebody to come rescue you," Brooks told NewsChannel5.
Liberty Township Fire Chief Mike Durkin said a woman in a second floor apartment feel asleep and left oil on a hot stove and that caused the intense blaze.
He said three firefighters, who were first on the scene, had to act quickly.
"Smoke was definitely pouring past all of them. Definitely got them out just in time really," Durkin said.
Believe it or not, Brooks and her son experienced the same horrifying ordeal on New Year's Day, 2011.
A kitchen fire in a different apartment in the same building trapped Brooks and her son, who was 4 years old at the time.
Again, they were forced onto the balcony and rescued by firefighters.
"I don't know what's going on with the odds. It's just, I don't know. I just have no answers for it, honestly. You can never have an incident like this and say, "Oh well, I've dealt with it before so I'm tough this time. A fire is a fire," Brooks said.
One woman was treated for smoke inhalation from Monday's fire and released. There were not any serious injuries.
Durkin estimated the damage to the apartment complex at $100,000. He said two or three of the units were destroyed.
Brooks has smoke and water damage to many of her belongings, including some furniture.
Her renter's insurance was canceled after the first fire.
After surviving two brushes with death, she's planning on moving out.
"I want to look for something else. This is just too much for me in my life right now," Brooks said.
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