ASHTABULA — A building with multiple fire code violations during the last three years was destroyed by fire Sunday evening, said Ashtabula Fire Chief Shawn Gruber.
The fire started at the back of 4611-13 Main Avenue and eventually burned all the way to the front of the building, causing a complete collapse of the roof. Gruber said the building owner had violated fire codes for more than three years and there was a large amount of combustible material in the building.
The Ashtabula Fire Department received help from Ashtabula Township, Saybrook, Conneaut and Geneva fire departments. The focus of the operation was to keep the fire from spreading to surrounding buildings.
Traffic was blocked on Main Avenue and Park Avenue late Sunday evening as firefighters battled the blaze and people gathered on the sidewalk taking video and watching a ladder truck shoot water into the building as flames ripped through the windows.
Gruber said the fire is under investigation and it was too early to tell if any charges would be filed. He said as far as he knew there were no injuries from the fire.
He said it did not appear anyone was living in adjacent buildings.
"It has been a long time since we have had a fire on Main Avenue, Gruber said.
The fire was called in around 9:30 p.m., Gruber said.
"This building is a total loss," he said.
Firefighters were attempting to keep the fire from spreading to surrounding buildings. He said there would likely be smoke damage to other structures.