Kent fire: 2 injured in explosion, historic building fire update and gratitude to community
KENT, Ohio (WOIO) - Saturday evening, the Kent Fire Department put out a release detailing the events of the fire that took place in a historic downtown building Friday morning.
They stated that they received a call Friday around 8:45 a.m. reporting black smoke coming from the former Williams Brothers Mill, a building in 100 block of North Water Street in downtown Kent.
KFD immediately requested backup from surrounding departments, and entered the smoking building to search for victims and the location of the fire. Crews had to enter from a connecting building in order to gain access to the building.
As the firefighters were searching, the release said an explosion occurred blowing out the windows on the front of the building, as well as a large section of brick wall connecting the building to the sidewalk.
The explosion also separated the roof from the sidewalls of the building in some areas, they said.
Kent fire reported two of the four person crew inside the building sustaining minor injuries, with all four evacuating.
All other firefighter outside the building were able to take cover from the falling brick and debris, according to Kent fire, and the cause of the explosion is under investigation by Kent fire, the State of Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office and ATF.
Aerial ladders from six surrounding departments were set up around the building in order to contain and extinguish the fire.
With the amount of water being applied to the fire, which Kent fire told 19 News was roughly 5000 gallons per minute, the city took action to ensure water supply by requesting the community to minimize their water usage.
This has since been revoked, and the public may resume normal water usage, according to Kent fire.
A demolition contractor was brought in the complete extinguishment and demolish the building, which Kent fire reported to be done by the end of Saturday.
Other responding departments included Streetsboro fire, Brimfield fire, Ravenna Township fire, Munroe Falls fire, Suffield fire, Stow fire, Randolph fire, Vienna fire, Hartville fire, Metro SWAT team and the Portage County Sheriff’s Department.
The Kent Fire Department expressed their appreciation to the American Red Cross and the many businesses, and citizens who donated food, water, and drinks to all the firefighters and first responders at the scene.
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