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Fire destroys building in Birmingham

• Jul 22, 2015 at 11:48 PM
Officials are investigating an early morning fire that destroyed a century-old building in Birmingham on Wednesday. Country Craft Store, 15405 Ohio 113, was a complete loss after a fire early Wednesday, according to the state Fire Marshal’s Office. The call came in at about 12:05 a.m., and when firefighters arrived, flames were shooting from the windows and roof. Florence Township Fire Chief Bill Rennie said fighting the fire was a challenge because crews had to haul in water to douse the blaze. The fire was fully extinguished around 4:30 a.m., according to information published by The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram. Rennie said 10 fire departments, including his, were needed to bring the fire under control. Michael Duchesne, a public information officer for the state Fire Marshal’s Office, said heavy equipment was required to extinguish the blaze. The cause of the fire is under investigation, and a damage estimate was unavailable Wednesday night. Monica Sartoski, who owns the store with her husband, Mitchell, said about three weeks ago they discovered furniture in the basement that indicated someone had been squatting there. Sartoski said they installed a padlock on the door, and a short time later, someone painted the word “Boo” on the door, with an arrow pointing to the padlock. However, Sartoski said the padlock hadn’t been broken.