ROGERS, Ohio — A 9,000-square-foot pavilion at Rogers Community Auction burned to the ground in the late hours of May 19, but the owners are planning for business as usual this week.
The 911 call was received by East Palestine Fire Department just after 11 p.m., said Lisbon Fire Chief Paul Gresh. The woman, who made the initial 911 call, was either still at the sale or lived close by. She reported hearing an explosion and then seeing the flames.
When the Lisbon Fire Department arrived on the scene, East Palestine firefighters were already working to extinguish it. The roof had collapsed from the center of the building outward, where there was a stack of hay.
“The building was fully engulfed in flames when we arrived,” said Gresh.
There were 35-40 firefighters from Lisbon, East Palestine, Negley, Rogers and New Waterford fire departments working together until just after 2 a.m.
“Luckily it was raining, as well, which helped to cool the other neighboring buildings,” Gresh said.
No one was injured and the only thing in the building was the pile of hay, which is believed to have been in the building for less than an hour before the fire broke out.
Co-owner Connie Hughart and her husband, Darrell, found out about the fire when they were at home that night.
“We are thankful for the woman who called in the fire and to the firefighters who contained it to one building,” she said.
There was no merchandise damaged, as the vendors had left and taken their things with them, she said.
They will likely rebuild the same size pavilion, in the same spot, she said. It will just take a few months to work with their insurance, get it approved and built.
Business as usual
“We are open and ready for business as usual. Though important, it is a small portion of a large market,” Hughart said.
The auction grounds is gearing up for the holiday weekend, which is sure to draw a crowd. There are no changes in hours, parking or vendors at the 1,600-space open air market.
There were 50 spaces for vendors in Pavilion G, which burned. Hughart has contacted the vendors individually and has made plans for them to be relocated for the time being.
Rogers’ staff will be on hand to help shoppers looking for those specific vendors.