Investigators look for cause of massive Salem fire - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Investigators look for cause of massive Salem fire

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Drone photo courtesy Adam Stone Drone photo courtesy Adam Stone
SALEM TOWNSHIP, Ohio -

The Ohio Fire Marshal is expected to be at the scene today as the effort begins to find the cause of a massive fire in Salem that kept firefighters out until the early hours of Wednesday morning.

As of 5 am Wednesday, roads in the area of the former Salem China Company remained barricaded to traffic.

Pictures from viewers flooded into our newsroom after around 3:30 pm Tuesday.

21 News Reporter Danielle Cotterman was on her way to the scene and reported the cloud of smoke could be seen as far as 20 miles away.

The smoke was even picked up on the 21 Storm Tracker radar moving northeast into Mahoning County.

Hours after the first signs of smoke were reported coming from  S. Broadway Avenue, flames could still be seen glowing from the inside.

"Flames were up 50 to 100 feet in the air it was pretty crazy, you could literally feel the heat from all the fire," said Matt Faulkner who lives near the area of the fire. 

Salem Fire Chief Scott Mason said no one was inside the building that is now partially used as storage for the Church Budget Envelope and Mailing Company.

Mason said crews tried to save the portion used by the company, but the fire was too intense.

"The building was secured, had to force entry into the building and once we got in there it was already starting to collapse," said Mason. 

Many departments had to be called in to help shuttle water and run lines.

Mason said the Environmental Protection Agency was also called to the scene and did not detect anything hazardous in the smoke.

Debris could be felt by those in the street.

"It kind of feels like rain," said Anne Grande.

As the hours ticked by and the flames were still intense, two women passed out sandwiches and water.

"I just figured these guys have been out here for a long time, they're probably hungry. I was eating dinner so I brought some food down," said Maureen Wright. 

"I know what it's like in this turn out gear they've got to be sweating in this heat from this fire, they need to stay hydrated," said Sarah Houzhins.

Only one fire truck remained on the scene after the fire was brought under control around midnight.

The State Fire Marshall will be out Wednesday as early as 7 am to investigate a cause.

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