Medina seeks emergency demo of vacant manufacturing site after latest fire

Provided photo: Firefighters used aerial ladder trucks to put out a fire this morning in the former S.A. Cook Furniture Factory at 525 East Ave. in Medina. Firefighters were called to the scene at about 9:30 a.m.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 October 2022 at 9:15 pm

MEDINA – The village has issued an emergency demolition permit for large manufacturing site on East Avenue that has been vacant and a target of vandals in recent years.

This morning there was another fire at the three-story building at 525 East Avenue. This 70,600-square-foot building was previously used by the S.A. Cook Furniture Factory.

Mayor Mike Sidari praised firefighters for a quick knock down of the fire. Firefighters used aerial ladder trucks from Medina, Albion and Shelby to put out the flames. No firefighters went inside because the building is considered to be too dangerous, said Code Enforcement Officer Dan Gardner.

The property has been sold multiple times through the property tax auction, including in 2016 when it only fetched $100.

A more recent owner – Open the Windows of Heaven, Apostolic Ministry – doesn’t have insurance on the building. The church group also doesn’t have the resources to make extensive repairs or to demo the site, Gardner said.

He issued the church a notice about a year ago that the building was unsafe and not secure. He issued that notice again today.

Mayor Sidari said the village will seek out state and federal assistance to take down the building. Gardner said the third floor caved into the second floor, well before the fire. It seems like every time he goes by the building, more windows are broken.

“It’s absolutely not safe,” Gardner said.

He said the demolition costs would be well into the hundreds of thousands.

“The cost is astronomical,” he said.