Gina Mace

CUYAHOGA FALLS: They stood on the north side of Main Street and watched as smoke poured from the roof of the Ralph Huff VFW Post No. 1062.


Among those gathered Monday afternoon was John “Woody” Woods, 65, a veteran of Vietnam and the post’s second vice commander.


“This is one of those things that makes you sick to look at,” Woods said.


Firefighters from seven Summit County departments worked for hours to extinguish the stubborn fire first reported around 3:30 p.m. at 1581 Main St.


Mike Politz, 92, said he has been a member of the post since 1946 when he returned home from World War II.


Politz said his daughter told him the post was on fire and he had to come and see for himself.


“I was planning on coming down today,’’ Politz said. “We’re all sad. It’s a tragedy.”


Falls firefighters were assisted by crews from Akron, Stow, Tallmadge, Twinsburg, Munroe Falls and Fairlawn.


The fire appears to have started in an older portion of the post.


Falls Fire Chief Paul Moledor said one firefighter was hurt while battling the blaze when he was hit in the head by a fire hose. The firefighter was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released.


Moledor said fire crews expect to remain at the fire scene through the morning to monitor for hot spots.


Woods said he was working at a Front Street auto parts store when he saw the smoke, flames and firetrucks.


He said the post leaders hope to inspect the damage soon and meet with the insurance adjuster.


Firefighters worked feverishly Monday evening to break down a door that leads to the club’s meeting rooms where the post flag, an American flag, and those representing each branch of the armed forces greet members.


The firefighters emerged from the smoke-filled hall around 6 p.m. carrying the flags and gently leaned them against a firetruck.