Garrettsville: generations feel the pain of losing downtown - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Garrettsville: generations feel the pain of losing downtown

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Source: Cindy Mishler Source: Cindy Mishler
GARRETTSVILLE, OH (WOIO) -

A devastating sight made the Garrettsville mayor initially avoid the media because he didn't want to get emotional.  

"I am an emotional person, and when my wife called me, I had a real hard time with it," says Mayor Rick Patrick.

The buildings that stood on Main Street were there for over 150 years, but it only took a few hours for that history to come burning and tumbling down. In all, 13 businesses were gone along with several lifetimes full of memories.

"I got my first haircut at George's Barber Shop right there when I was younger," says Ed Polomsky of Warren. 

"This was the Main street. This was it. We didn't have all the shopping centers and stuff that we do now. This was the hub of everything," adds Art Hall, who has lived in Garrettsville his entire life.

In the middle of all the destruction it appears there is one building that can be salvaged, Howard Mishler's Law Office. The other structures around the office burned down.

"That building belongs to Howard Mishler's Dad.  It's his dad's law office. There's a little bit of plaster down off the ceiling and other than that it's intact,"one resident said.

 Despite the fact that the fire started in the middle of the day on a busy Saturday afternoon, everyone made it out okay.

Two firefighters suffered smoke inhalation but were treated and released. What caused this massive fire? Where did it even start? The Fire Chief won't say - yet.  

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the State Fire Marshall will be investigating. 

"I would presume two to three weeks before we can narrow anything down," says David Friess, Garrettsville's fire chief.

What was lost here will be rebuilt, but those that grew up here for generations say the town will never be quite the same.

"This is my hometown , and it's like... a quarter of it's gone. It's sad," says Mishler. 

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