Chief: Cuts Delayed Response to Ohio Church Fire

October 8, 2012

A fire chief says cutbacks in his department delayed the response to a fire that consumed a northern Ohio church.

Authorities said the fire late Wednesday destroyed The Father’s House Church in Norton, near Akron. Media reports said 13 departments responded to the fire, but faced challenges putting it out due to lack of fire hydrants in the area.

Norton Fire Department Chief Mike Schultz said the effort was also hampered by the fact there were no firefighters on duty in the city when the fire was reported at about 11:30 p.m.

Schulz said staffing had to be cut after a local levy failed in March. Now there are no firefighters on duty from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. Voters also defeated a levy last November.

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