Church Fire, Six-Year-Old Leaves School, Holiday Spending

The Father's House Church
The Father's House Church

A Summit County church ravaged by flames late Wednesday night. Fire broke out at The Father's House Church on Wadsworth Road in Norton around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. Over a dozen fire departments helped battle the intense blaze. It took crews several hours to bring the blaze under control. There were no fire hydrants in the immediate area, so crews brought in extra tankers. 19 Action News has learned a firefighter injured when the church roof collapsed. The firefighter was knocked onto his back. He was taken to the hospital after the fall for minor injuries. He has since been treated and released. Luckily, no one was inside the church when the fire started. The last service at the church ended at 9 p.m. Wednesday night. Due to failed levies and funding shortfalls, the Norton Fire Department is not staffed between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. This hindered efforts to effectively fight the fire when it started.The State Fire Marshal will be on scene later this morning to launch an investigation. The church is considered a total loss. Click here to view a slideshow.

A mother is outraged after her 6-year old son walked out of school Wednesday." My son could have gotten snatched. My son could have got hit by a car." Nena Fitzgerald tells us her son Neka walked out of O.H. Perry Elementary School in Cleveland without anyone even noticing. She says, " What about the safety of our children. My son left the building nobody contacted police. Nobody contacted safety and security, nothing." The boy's older sister tells us she walked her brother to school and dropped him off. She says as she was walking home several minutes later, and several blocks away, she heard her brother crying. " I'm like how did you get out the building?" " He said he walked right through the metal detector." Little Neka told us, " I was scared. I couldn't catch my sister."  The first grader says his teacher gave him a hall pass to get his notebook from the lunchroom. He says he was upset because another student was teasing him so he walked out of school, along a busy Lakeshore Drive.  Neka's mom says the principal gave her vouchers for school uniforms but couldn't ' offer up an explanation as to why this happened.

The National Retail Federation has an early Christmas gift for stores. The group is projecting a 4 percent increase in holiday sales, despite the struggling jobs market and weak income growth. Over the past decade, sales have raised an average of 3.5 percent a year.  The 4 percent prediction would ring up to $586 billion in sales. And it is the most optimistic forecast they've released since the recession began, according to the National Retail Federation's president.  Perhaps the bow on top of it all in the retail world - online sales are projected to increase by 12 percent.

Julia Tullos, WOIO Assignment Manager