Fire Destroys Building Under Construction

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (AP) - A three-story apartment building set to open in October burned down, authorities said.

Two Cuyahoga Falls firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion, assistant fire chief Don Cooper said. There were no other injuries.

Bill Lemmon, owner of builder Lemmon and Lemmon Inc., said the 97-unit complex was destroyed Sunday. Lemmon said he plans to rebuild.

"You are so close to getting things ready to open," he said. "It's just one of those things you don't have control over."

Lemmon and fire officials had not yet determined the amount of the damage on Sunday. Lemmon said he expected the loss to be millions of dollars.

The blaze, which took about two hours to contain, was the largest fire Mayor Don Robart said he has seen in the city in his 17-year tenure.

"It was quite something," said Robart, who arrived at the scene about 20 minutes after firefighters. "You could see smoke all over the city. I was back 50 feet, and the heat was more than you could take. It was quite large."

About 50 firefighters from Cuyahoga Falls, Stow and Akron responded to the fire. Crews kept the fire from spreading to nearby structures and a wooded area. Firefighters remained at the fire site overnight as a precaution.

Lemmon said complex was being built for senior citizens and included a dining facility and craft rooms.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)