NORTH LIMA - Tenants of an industrial building located at the corner of state Routes 164 and 165 in Beaver Township were evacuated Tuesday when a fire broke out.
Marcia Hazel, who operates her own realty business from the ground floor of the building on South Avenue, knew something was wrong when the lights went out. At first she thought it had something to do with the weather, but then an employee of the neighboring business told her they needed to evacuate because of a fire.
Hazel formerly operated Marcia M. Hazel Realty in Leetonia, but has been located in the industrial building the last five years. Her husband Rick owns Roller Reprographics, which has operated from that location the last 16 years.
Beaver Township Fire Chief Russ Osborne talks with firefighters and Industrial Shredders CEO David Barnard inside the facility where the fire began. (Salem News photo by Patti Schaeffer)
He also had to evacuate his business, as did Buckeye Civil Engineers and the Green Building Pros, an energy efficiency company owned by Michael Hein of Leetonia.
Hein happened to be outside in a field working on one of his company's green buildings when his secretary called to tell him there was a fire. At first he didn't believe her.
Like the Hazels, his company suffered mostly smoke and water damage.
Mrs. Hazel said there were no customers at any of the businesses at the time and everyone was able to evacuate to the parking lot without any problems. Her business even had time to grab their own computers.
"We evacuated well before any of the smoke came over into our part of the building," she said, adding a fire wall exists between it and the south side of the building that houses Industrial Paper Shredders, which is where the fire originated, she said.
Buckeye Civil Engineers employs four people and is the only business located on the second floor, she added.
The fire broke out sometime after 3 p.m. and was reported to the Beaver Township Fire Department located less than a mile away on state Route 165. Firefighters arrived and were assisted at the scene by crews from Green and Springfield townships and Poland, which is part of the Western Reserve Joint Fire District.
Mrs. Hazel said Industrial Paper Shredders was testing a new piece of equipment. Beaver Township Fire Chief Russ Osborne said at the scene the fire started in Industrial's portion of the building.
It was an Industrial Paper Shredders employee who warned her to evacuate, Hazel said.
She also said testing is done at frequently at the business that custom builds shredding machines, but there had never been a problem until now.
"The actual fire was, from what we understand from speaking with the fire department, was contained to the side of the building with Industrial Paper Shredders," she said.
Messages left with Osborne were not returned Tuesday night.
The fire caused the five businesses located there to cease operations for now, but Mrs. Hazel is optimistic her realty office can be functional again soon.
"Everything we have is pretty much mobile so we are good to go there. For the engineering part, tomorrow we will figure out if they can use the same building or use something temporary until repairs are made. It's just too soon to know that for sure," she said.