LORAIN, OH (WOIO) - Lorain firefighters worked all night to put out a fire at an apartment building at 700 Broadway Avenue in the center of the city.
Firefighters got the call at 12:33 a.m. Sunday and upon arrival found the three-story brick building on fire, with heavy smoke and flames.
People on the street told firefighters there were two people trapped inside and they could see them at windows on the second floor.
Lorain firefighter crews set up a ladder and were able to rescue those two people.
Elyria and Sheffield fire departments responded to assist.
Crews tried to go in but the roof collapsed, so crews had to fight the flames from outside and above the building. It took nearly four hours for firefighters to get the blaze under control, calling it out at 4:46 a.m. Crews remained on the scene to put out hot spots. The city's building department must also assess the damages.
So far, firefighters have said the building is a collapse hazard, as the roof and second floors have fallen in. They added that it's a very weak structure and bricks have been found down the street. Broadway Avenue remains closed at West 7th Street.
Firefighters say the building is likely a total loss and the city may have to issue an emergency tear down.
The cause is under investigation.
Lorain City Councilman Mitchell Fallis says the historic Thistle Building used to be a high-end men's clothing store. Now, it will most probably need to be demolished. Fallis says people should expect the stretch of Broadway where the building is located to be closed for the next few days while crews work to make the area safe again.
According to the Red Cross, they are helping the nine people in that building that have been displaced. There are several people living in a neighboring building who are waiting to get back in after the power is restored.