Crews battle Garrettsville fire for almost 10 hours

GARRETTSVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – A news conference is planned for Sunday in Garrettsville after a fire destroyed 13 businesses in the village on Saturday.

Police said dispatchers received a call about 1:15 p.m. Saturday that “Main Street is on fire.” From there, crews from 34 fire departments descended on the small Portage County community to battle the blaze.

It also brought out crowds of people who stood by and watched as the historic buildings burned.

“There was a lawn and garden store. My parent’s law office was there, and they had an antique shop there for many years. The old original hardware store,” said Howard Mischler.

Mishler was born and raised in Garrettsville. His parents’ law office was one of about a dozen businesses destroyed. His parents are out of town right now, so he’s the only one who has seen the damage so far. He says, it doesn’t look good.

“It’s like a quarter of a town gone in an hour, and it’s so much history in these buildings. It’s really sad,” Mischler said.

Despite the scope of the blaze, there was only one injury. Police said a firefighter was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters were on the scene for more than 10 hours.

Fire officials said the fire started at the corner of Center and Main streets and spread to four buildings. The fire is under investigation by the Portage County fire investigation unit and state fire marshal’s office.

We will have a crew at the news conference and will bring you the latest news online and on our newscasts.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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