Vendors of destroyed Rogers Flea pavilion excited for rebuild

ROGERS, Ohio (WYTV) – The structure destroyed by a fire at the Rogers Flea Market in Columbiana County in May will soon be rebuilt.

It’s been a struggle for several of the vendors who lost their selling area. But they say they’re thrilled to soon be getting back to their old spot.

“So it’s kind of like a community,”  said Judy Kosmus, a vendor from the burned pavilion. “A brother and sister area.”

Kosmus has been a vendor at the Rogers Community Auction for 16 years. For the last three, her spot was in Pavilion G selling lucky plants and figurines.

But that all changed on Friday, May 18, when the structure caught fire overnight.

“Everybody just kind of just made the best of it,” vendor Tamara Marraffa said. “People who didn’t have tents, they relocated to different spaces.”

After the fire, the vendors from Pavilion G were spread out to other areas of the market.

Some, like Kosmus, had to pitch tents temporarily. She says some days are worse than others — and she’s lost about half her business since May.

Right now, the area where the fire happened is all cordoned off with a lot of gravel and dirt around it. There’s nothing there now. But come mid-September, President Ken Baer says there should be a pavilion.

“I’m just finally glad it’s getting started,” Baer said. “They’re going to start here Saturday. They’ll start rebuilding. It’s going to take a while to get her done, but we’ll be back in business.”

The new pavilion will be a bit different from the old ones. It will be made out of steel and be nearly 300 feet long. Baer says that makes it less susceptible to fires.

The gravel and dirt was actually just moved into the area Friday. Baer said he wanted to get started sooner, but they were still waiting on state permits.