Chardon firefighters along with a dozen other departments battled a two-alarm fire at Chardon Square Auto Body and Collision late Thursday.
According to Chardon Fire Chief Larry Gaspar, the fire was first reported by police on patrol at 10:20 p.m. as smoke billowed from the building at 537 Water St.
Gaspar said that the first arriving firefighters attempted to fight the fire from inside the building but were forced to turn back after the fire made it through the roof and unsafe to stay inside the building.
Gaspar told News 5 that the pitched roof was added after the original construction of the building and it fell down on top of the original flat roof, trapping the fire in the voids between the two roof layers throughout the building.
Gaspar said that the investigation has just begun but did say it looked like the fire started near the middle of the building between the garage area and the front office part of the building.
Firefighters were also being assisted by the Chardon Street Department using a backhoe to pull some of the building apart to get to the active fire.
Fire crews just left the destructive fire here at Chardon Square Collision Center. They fought the fire for nearly 7 hours. Good news is... no one was inside at the time. @WEWS pic.twitter.com/H5wX5FfS8j
— Jessi Schultz (@Jessi_Dianne) September 28, 2018
Water Street is closed in the area.