MINERVA — Five fire departments battled a Thursday morning blaze that destroyed a former church.

Fire Chief Aaron Stoller said just before 11 a.m. that people should stay out of the area “for the next couple of hours” as firefighters continued to battle the blaze at 204 W. High St.

"(Firefighters are) doing mostly overhaul right now. Most of the fire’s out,” he said. “We haven’t even entered the structure nor do I think we will be able to.”

He said the original steeple is in danger of collapsing.

“We’re trying to get a company in here right now to make this safe,” Stoller said, adding that another church is located behind it and a hair salon is located to the east of the burning building.

Formerly the Harvest Christian Center, the building was vacant, and no one was injured, he said, adding that firefighters did not yet know the cause of the fire.

Firefighters were called at 9:13 a.m.

Louisville’s ladder crews and firefighters from the Great Trail Fire District, Augusta Township and Carrollton village were called to assist.

They remained on the scene at 11 a.m.

The Stark County Auditor’s Office website shows the building was sold on Oct. 18 to a Minerva man. Built in 1901, the wood-frame structure is 2,340 square feet.

 

Reach Lori at 330-580-8309 or lori.steineck@cantonrep.com. On Twitter: @lsteineckREP