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FIRE DESTROYS HISTORIC BARN IN VILLAGE BUSINESS DISTRICT

Six fire companies were called out early Saturday to battle a blaze that ravaged a historic barn in Akron's business district.

The fire, which started at about 4 a.m. in the barn behind the Bag & Barrel Country Store at 99 Main St., quickly spread and was well involved in flames by the time firefighters arrived on the scene, according to Akron Fire Chief Brian Murray.

"It was just breaking through the side walls when we got there, and by the time the first engine arrived it was fully involved," Murray said.

Residents in 10 nearby apartments and a few homes within the business district were evacuated as firefighters worked to put out the blaze, which was under control in about 30 minutes.

Murray said the cause of the blaze, which left $60,000 damage, was determined to be electrical. The barn housed antiques and various other articles for the nearby country store. It was a total loss, officials said.

The fire chief said the blaze could have been much worse.

Three nearby structures that house businesses and apartments from 93 to 101 Main St. sustained exposure damage from the intense heat generated by the burning barn.

"It was an excellent team effort for as well involved as it was and as close as it was to three other structures," Murray said. "(The barn) also had an old-style tin roof with tin siding -- that helped us because it didn't bellow out and the wind was calm."

One firefighter was treated for a back injury.

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