The Kent, Ohio Fire Department responded to the 7000 block of State Route 43 on May 26 at approximately 4:45 a.m. for a report of smoke coming from a structure by a passing motorist.
On the arrival of Engine 1823, there was visible smoke and fire showing from the structure. Immediate actions were taken by the crew to combat the presenting situation with aggressive offensive tactics. One of the first recognized priorities was to set up a rural water supply shuttle due to the lack fire hydrants in the immediate area of the property.
The structure was reported to be unoccupied at the time. The commercial structure was over a century old and currently occupied by a restaurant. It had been remodeled, and additions put on many times over the years. This allowed for many void spaces to be created for the fire to occupy and spread. With these characteristics and the heavy fire load present, a defensive attack was eventually utilized.
An immediate request for mutual aid from area fire departments was made. This request would bring additional manpower, engines, aerial devices, water tenders, and an EMS unit. In total there were over a dozen area fire departments committed.
With the use of handlines, elevated master streams, compressed air foam, and eventually firefighters getting in to pull the building apart, the fire was brought under control. The cause and origin will be under investigation.