TALLMADGE — Determining the cause of a May 9 fire at Franklin’s Furniture on West Avenue is now in the hands of the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office, but when results will come back is uncertain, Fire Chief Mike Passarelli said Wednesday.
"Normally, we get that stuff back in about a week, but most of the government stuff is shut down obviously, people working from home. State labs are still open, but barely," he added.
About 20 firefighters and first responders from Tallmadge, Akron, Munroe Falls and Mogadore responded to the fire at just before sundown. No injuries were reported.
Passarelli said that while flames in the consignment furniture store were contained to one inside area, "There was immense smoke damage. The entire structure was charred."
Videos of the incident that bystanders posted on Facebook show firefighters scrambling in the parking lot, breaking a front window to gain access and dousing flames inside as smoke rolls over the roof. The establishment was boarded up by Sunday morning.
Passarelli said he did not yet have a damage cost estimate, saying that is complicated by the involvement of three insurance companies, one for the structure and two for contents in the furniture store and in Viva Vintage, a small shop selling mid-20th century items directly behind Franklin’s Furniture.
Passarelli said damage in Viva Vintage was limited to "incidental smoke."
Passarelli said one of the insurance companies is also expected to hire a contractor to restore electricity to Viva Vintage and Bosley Motors, another business behind the furniture store, after power was cut during the fire.
"It’s part of what they pay their insurance company for," said Passarelli.
Tallmadge sent its two units, which were joined by a fire engine crew from Akron and medical units from Mogadore and Munroe Falls.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at 330-541-9431, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JeffSaunders_RP.