Friday, 13 October 2017 09:37

UPDATE: Summa St. Thomas Still Closed

Update: Summa St. Thomas Hospital in Akron is still closed after the fire that started in the basement early Friday morning. 

No one was injured, as medical staff and first responders were able to evacuate patients and staff in time, but there is severe smoke damage throughout much of the hospital. 

The following is a statement, released Monday morning, on the status of when St. Thomas will open: 

Summa Health has contracted with ServiceMaster to lead the cleanup efforts at Summa Health System – St. Thomas Campus, which suffered significant damage as a result of the fire last Friday morning. ServiceMaster crews of more than 100 individuals worked in tandem with Summa Health employees all weekend, and plans call for the clean-up work to continue through this week.

A firm date for re-opening the hospital has not been set yet, though the target for inpatient services is early next week. There is a possibility that outpatient services could open sooner.

We will provide more details as they become available. In the meantime, the hotline number for additional information for patients and their families is 330.375.7702.

Thank you


Akron Fire Department responded to a fire just after 6 a.m. Friday at Summa St. Thomas Hospital at 444 Main Street. 

Reports from Akron Fire officials is that the fire started in a storage area in the basement of the hospital. No one was injured in the fire. Patients and staff were evacuated shortly after the fire was reported. Patients have been transported to Akron City Hospital, the Barberton Campus, and the Western Reserve campus.

In a statement released at 9 a.m. Friday, Summa Health System confirmed that the fire was extinguished. In a later press release, Summa Health added that they have set up a hotline for family and friends of patients at St. Thomas: 330.375.7702. Summa also recommends checking the health system's Twitter and Facebook accounts for updates, as well. 

WAKR will have updates on this story as they come in. 


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Update: On Wednesday morning, Akron Municipal Court Judge Ann Marie O'Brien denied bond for Stanley Ford, 58, saying she's never seen such a heinous act in her time as a judge. 

Ford is due back in court Thursday morning for an initial appearance with his attorney. He is expected to enter a plea. 


58-year-old Stanley O. Ford of Akron has been charged with one count of aggravated arson, and seven counts of aggravated murder in connection with the deadly fire on May 15th, that claimed the lives of seven family members on Fultz Avenue in Akron. 

He is described as a neighbor who lived on Hillcrest Avenue, close by the home on Fultz Street, that he allegedly set on fire.
Deputy Police Chief, Kenneth Ball, called it "one of the most heinous and costly crimes in the city of Akron's history", and Mayor Dan Horrigan says he will do "everything in his power to see justice is achieved in this case".
The family members who died from smoke inhalation from that deadly blaze are Dennis Huggins,Angela Boggs, and their five children; Cameron Huggins, Alivia Huggins, Kylle Huggins, Daisia Huggins, and Jered Boggs.
Published in News
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 12:34

Fire Damages Classrooms At Cathedral Of Life

Plain Township Fire Department, with the help of North Canton's department, battled a fire at the Cathedral of Life Ministries at 4111 38th St. NW, Wednesday morning. 

At just about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, fire crews arrived to a fire that had already torn through a portion of the second floor of the building, where it is believed to have started, and then down to the first. Classrooms are housed on that second floor and some damage was reported; no word on the extent. 

While clergy do live on the grounds where the building is located, no one was inside the building at the time of the fire. 

According to the Canton Repository, fire crews were still on scene at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday. Stark County Sheriff's Office was also on scene assisting with area traffic. 

Published in Local
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 12:14

Akron House Explodes, Leaves One Hospitalized

Akron Fire is investigating after a house at Courtland Avenue and South Hawkins Avenue exploded Tuesday night around 7:30. 

Crews responded to the fire and had flames put out by about 10 p.m., according to the press release. 

Fire investigators are still looking into the cause of the explosion and ensuing fire, but they believe that it was a natural gas-related incident. 

One man was seriously injured and remained at Akron City Hospital as of Wednesday afternoon. 


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Wednesday, 07 December 2016 11:11

Small Fire At Sam Salem CLC

Sam Salem CLC was evacuated just after the morning bell Wednesday after a small fire in a boys' bathroom. 

Mark Williamson with Akron Public Schools says that while the fire and all of the damage was contained to that one room, smoke had spread to other areas of the school. That is why they had to evacuate the building. 

As of 9:30 a.m., all 350 students were safely transported to nearby Kenmore High School while Akron Fire assessed the damage. Students' parents were notified via robocall, Williamson said, and were told that they can pick up their kids at Kenmore H.S. any time. Williamson said Kenmore would accomodate the students as long as possible and that parents would need to bring a valid ID with them when they pick up their children.

As for how the fire started in the bathroom, Williamson told 1590 WAKR, "At the grade school level, you kind of wonder; who has matches at a grade school? But we have to figure that out still, and the fire department can figure that out for us." 

Williamson says the school district will notify parents regarding the status for classes on Thursday. 

Published in Local
Monday, 21 November 2016 12:02

Man Sets Himself On Fire In Highland Square

Akron Police say a 69-year-old man set himself on fire outside of Angel Falls coffee shop in Highland Square over the weekend. 

Reports say the man walked into the coffee shop after 9 a.m. and began ranting about the anti-Trump protest that happened in Highland Square earlier in the week. Witnesses say he approached customers who were sitting inside the cofee shop and asked if they knew who organized the protest. 

He was asked to leave and then reportedly walked behind the establishment and pulled out a gas can. He then doused himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire. Residents of the area rushed to his aid with fire extinguishers. He was transported to Akron Children's Hospital and treated at the burn unit where he remained in stable condition as of early Monday morning. 

1590 WAKR has reached out to Akron Police for comment. 

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The Summit County Sheriff's Office is investigating a vandalism of the former Northfield Center/Sagamore Hills Fire District Substation, located at 50 W. Aurora Road. 

They were alerted to the incident, that they say occured over the weekend, on Monday when staff entered the building and saw the damage. According to the press release, thousands of dollars in damage was done to equipment that is stored in the building and the building itself. Inspector Bill Holland with the Sheriff's Office says the vandal or vandals broke in, wrote profanity on pieces of equipment and other items in the building, and caused damage to the building. Furthermore, Holland says, the suspect(s) doused beds, carpeting, and 14 pieces of turnout gear in urine. 

The Sheriff's Office is asking that anyone with information ont he incident call the Detective Bureau at 330-643-2131. 

Published in Local
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 11:37

UPDATE Ellet High Reopens After Fire

Ellet High School will open again for students Wednesday.

Ellet High has been closed this week after cleanup crews spent the past few days clearing smoke and water damage from Saturday night's fire inside a construction classroom on the first floor.

Containment walls were built around areas directly affected by the fire, allowing students to return to classes in the rest of the building.

The investigation into what caused the fire continues.


(Earlier coverage) Ellet High School remains closed Tuesday as clean-up crews continue to ready the school for students after Saturday night's fire inside a construction classroom on the first floor. 

Akron City Schools Communications Director Mark Williamson says it's a matter of safety for the students of Ellet. While the fire was mostly contained to that one classroom, smoke spread throughout the building and left a lingering smell which could be harmful to anyone occupying the building. Water damage is also a factor, as fire crews used their hoses to extinguish the blaze. Williamson says there is potential to continue clean-up efforts while students are back in the classrooms, containing certain affected areas with containment walls, but they want to be sure it's completely safe before doing so. 

They expect to have the clean-up wrapped up soon, but they're not rushing things at Ellet High. The investigation into what caused the fire, meanwhile, continues. Fire investigators have not designated the fire as accidental, nor as arson, as of Tuesday. 

Published in Local
Thursday, 01 September 2016 08:19

Coventry Twp. Fatal Fire Under Investigation

A fatal fire in Coventry Township is under investigation.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office reports 33-year-old Dana Lonteen was found inside the Portage Lakes Drive apartment when firefighters responded to a fire with heavy smoke around 6 o'clock Tuesday evening.

The victim was taken to Akron City Hospital where she later died from her injuries shortly after 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

Published in Local
Thursday, 11 August 2016 11:10

Teens Arrested In Boettler Park Arson

The Summit County Sheriff's Office says they've arrested five teenagers, between the ages of 16 and 19, in connection to Tuesday morning's arson fire that destroyed the Lichtenwalter Schoolhouse at Boettler Park. 

It happened between 4 and 5 a.m. Tuesday morning. In addition to the fire at the schoolhouse, that was first built in 1885 and restored in 2002, investigators noticed other acts of vandalism throughout the park. They say a bathroom had been broken into on the grounds and significant damage was done inside. Also, the teens threw trash cans onto the rooftops of other buildings throughout the park.  

On Thursday morning, the Sheriff's Office released that they've arrested a 16-year-old male from Springfield Township, a 16-year-old female from Springfield Township, another 16-year-old male from Akron, 18-year-old Brandyn McCroskey, and 19-year-old Matthew R. Swan, both of Springfield Township. All five are charged with fifth-degree felony breaking and entering, fifth-degree felony vandalism, and fourth-degree felony arson. Swan and McCroskey were booked into the Summit County Jail while the juveniles were transported to the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center. 

Sheriff Steve Barry says he is pleased with the expedient and thorough investigation, which led to the identification and arrest of all suspects involved. City of Green Mayor Gerard Neugebauer also releasing a statement: “Thank you to the Summit County Sheriff, Green’s Fire Division and the Ohio State Fire Marshal for their quick work in finding the individuals who caused this irreparable damage to our beloved historical schoolhouse." 

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A fire reported at a Copley Township hotel early this morning left one person dead and another injured.

Copley firefighters and police were called out to Hawthorn Suites on Montrose West Avenue where an active fire was found and extinguished.

One person died at the scene and another person was taken to Akron General Hospital with serious burns. The names of the victims are being withheld pending family notification.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the blaze. Further details were not released.

Published in Local
Saturday, 07 May 2016 15:55

Red Cross Called After Akron Fire

The Red Cross is helping an Akron family after a fire broke out in their Copley Road's house.

Akron Fire managed to containt the fire to the basement of the home and had the fire out in about 30 minutes time.

No one was injured in the fire but there are estimates of about $15,000 in damages to the house.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Two adults and five children live at the house.

Published in Local
Friday, 15 January 2016 12:12

Blaze Hits Four C. Falls Homes

Cuyahoga Falls firefighters spent the morning battling four house fires in an area where three homes were under construction.

Fire officials report that the initial blaze was reported around 6 a.m. on Lake Forest Drive. Four homes were on fire when crews arrived on scene, including two homes that were under construction.


These are photos from this morning's fire on Lakeforest Dr.

Posted by Cuyahoga Falls Fire Department on Friday, January 15, 2016


One of the homes under construction was occupied, but no one was in the home at the time of the blaze. The other completed home was vacant.

Officials say the vacant home was unstable and had to be taken down with an excavator. The two other homes under construction have been torn down.

According to the fire department, Deputy Fire Marshal Tom Carano, who also serves as a firefighter, was able to save a cat that was hiding under a couch. No injuries were reported

Published in Local
Friday, 18 December 2015 12:31

Akron Firefighters Deliver Coats To Students

To say that Akron firefighters were busy Friday morning is an understatement.

After battling an early morning house fire, firefighters made a quick turnaround to head over to an elementary school -- delivering hundreds of coats, hats and gloves to students.

Hundreds of students lined up in the cafeteria at McEbright CLC to make sure their new coat fit just right. Each coat was personalized with the students' name -- hats and gloves included.

Firefighter Matt Coleman organized this year's Operation Warm event.

"It gives all of us firemen a perspective on the meaning of Christmas and getting to come out and touch the community in a different way," said Coleman.

Click the image below to view additional photos from the Operation Warm event.

Operation Warm at McEbright CLC in Akron

But before some firefighters could prepare for Friday's coat delivery, they were busy battling a house fire on Marvin Avenue in Highland Square.

"Four of these guys pulled a guy out a building and save him around 7:45 this morning. They went back, took a shower and now they're here handing out coats."

Just hours before, half of the firefighters at the event were battling a house fire on Marvin Avenue in Highland Square around 6 a.m. The blaze left one man with first and second degree burns. The man was found about eleven minutes after fire crews arrived had to be rescued. At least one other person escaped without help.

Mike Kranek was one of the firefighters who responded to the morning blaze, but he wanted to make he didn't miss out on this year's Operation Warm event.

"Some of these kids probably don't have much of a Christmas so if we can do a little something to make they're day better, that's what it's all about," said Kranek.

It was a morning filled with emotions for Kranek and his fellow firefighters.

"You're going a 100 miles a minute going to the fire, and then you deal with the fire and you're exhausted," said Kranek. "And then you go home to take an shower and you get rejuvenated because you know this is important."



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