Kent, OH

Kent residents saddened as historic Star of the West mill complex destroyed by fire

Amarie M.

The former flour mill was the city's oldest building, opened in 1879, and held historical and iconic significance for many residents.

**This article is based on information sourced from news websites, cited within the story**

Kent, Ohio residents witnessed its oldest structure and historical marker engulfed in flames early Friday morning around 8:45 a.m. It was the former Star of the West mill complex located in downtown Kent. Firefighters from 37 fire departments rushed to the scene to assist the Kent Fire Department in efforts to control, contain, and extinguish the large fire (source).

The fire resulted in an explosion amid black smoke billowing from the building along with massive flames erupting, which hindered firefighters from entering the building. To help firefighters' water supply to fight the blaze, the city of Kent went under an emergency water conservation alert at approximately 11 a.m. (source).

A video shows the burning complex and firefighters on the scene.

Sentiment among Kent residents was that of melancholy regarding the old historic complex, which closed in 2016. The Portage County Historical Society posted "Sad day today in Kent" on social media. And other people shared their thoughts about losing the building, such as nostalgia for its unique contribution to the Kent skyline (source).

It is reported that the building owner knows nothing about how the fire could have started since the building is vacant and locked up. The owner confirmed that future plans for the complex are now up in the air.

Area businesses were evacuated and officials shut down the entire block for safety reasons and to make room for the firefighters. No injuries have been reported (source).

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