KNOX TWP. — As many as 40 firefighters from seven departments battled a blaze that destroyed the historic Old Stagecoach Inn in northwest Columbiana County last week.
No one was injured, but the three-story brick building that had housed the former stagecoach stop since 1822 was destroyed.
The building at 27425 Main St. in North Georgetown played a prominent role in the Underground Railroad, according to North Georgetown Fire Chief Ed Reichenbach.
He said it was built in 1822 across the street from a similar building that also no longer stands. At one time, a tunnel under the road ran between the two buildings. The site had been used as a stagecoach stop between Pittsburgh and Massillon. At one point, there was a jail upstairs, he said.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation Friday morning, Reichenbach said, but it appears to have started in the kitchen area.
Two employees and the owner had just closed the restaurant about 15 minutes earlier when firefighters were summoned to the burning building at 10:29 p.m. Thursday, Reichenbach said. A neighbor had reported smoke.
North Georgetown firefighters battled the blaze with assistance from firefighters from Homeworth, Damascus, Beloit, Washington Township, Sebring and Winona fire departments.
Firefighters left the scene about 6 a.m.
Reach Lori Steineck at 330-580-8309 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @lsteineckREP.