LORAIN — Part of a warehouse that once housed the Lorain Creamery and Old English Parlour was damaged overnight Saturday in a fire that could have been far worse given the amount of flammable material where it occurred.
A loading dock and storage area of a warehouse at the rear of a brick complex at Oberlin Avenue and 14th Street sustained an unknown amount of damage in the fire, which was reported at 2:36 a.m. Saturday, Lorain Fire Chief Roy Cochran said.
Firefighters arrived on scene about five minutes after being notified of the fire, which damaged portions of the roof and other parts of a 65-foot by 45-foot brick warehouse. They were able to bring the fire under control fairly quickly. The fire was reported to be extinguished as of 3:12 p.m., Cochran said.
“Flames were showing through the roof when we got there and we first made a check to ensure no one was inside,” Cochran said. “There were no people there, but we did find two dogs and got them out safely.”
Signs posted at the site indicated part of the building was being used as a car sales lot, while a car repair shop was reportedly being operated in the rear portion of the site where the fire began.
Damage was contained to the rear of the business.
“We were very fortunate due to the materials we found,” Cochran said.
Those materials included acetylene tanks used for arc welding tools and a couple of vehicles that may have contained gas, Cochran said.
“There was a lot of fuel that could have fed the fire,” he said.
Ohio Edison personnel were contacted and came to the scene to shut off power to the building, Cochran said.
The buildings had no gas hookups connected.
Fire officials had no immediate damage estimate, but the building was valued at approximately $61,000, according to Cochran.
The cause of the fire did not initially appear to be suspicious, although the time of the blaze and the fact no one was present “are some questions that will need to be answered,” Cochran said.
The Lorain Creamery bottled and delivered milk and sold ice cream, while the Old English Parlour, which had a Tudor-style entrance at the corner of Oberlin Avenue and 14th Street, served food and ice cream.
“It’s been at least two decades since they were in there,” Cochran said.