Canton Fire Chief Steven Rich tells 19 Action News the building itself was mostly vacant, but that a number of temporary walls were built inside and the fire spread into those walls and then to the roof.
When firefighters arrived they said they could not safely get the fire out in time to save the building.
"A lot of heavy smoke," said Chief Rich. "(Firefighters) Found the fire originated in the basement, it took us awhile, cut a few holes in it to see where it's at, we had nozzles in the basement and then it flared up and took the rest of the building. We went defensive because it was a vacant structure not to hurt anyone."
Cleveland Avenue NW will remain closed while a demolition crew will be brought in to tear the building down.