Police looking for woman who may help in Massillon church fire investigation

Police looking for woman who may help in Massillon church fire investigation

MASSILLON, OH (WOIO) - Fire investigators are hoping the public can assist in an ongoing investigation.

The Massillon Fire Department received a call to St. Mary's Church on Cherry Road NE on Aug. 4.

The initial call reported smoke coming from the attic space but when crews arrived, heavy smoke was pouring out of all sides of the historical and landmark structure.

Multiple outside fire agencies were called to assist.

The entire church suffered heat and water damage and is still closed for damage assessment and restoration.

St. Mary's Parish, however, continues to provide services to parishioners and the community.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Officials are looking for a woman who could help provide some answers.

The unidentified woman was reportedly seen inside the church between 9:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. on the day of the fire.

She was not immediately recognized by other parishioners.

Officials believe the woman is between 24 and 30-years-old with dark to reddish hair. She appears to have a light olive complexion and may be Hispanic or Mediterranean.

She was wearing a red and white striped short sleeve t-shirt with the word "Torres" printed on the front. She may have piercings in her lip and nose.

She was carrying a journal or sketch pad.

Officials stress that the woman is not a suspect, may not have had anything to do with this tragedy, and may not even realize she was the last person in the area before the blaze.

Anyone with any information as to who this person might be should contact the fire department as soon as possible.  The fire department non-emergency phone number is (330) 833-1053.

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