Elderly woman escapes massive fire at historic Columbiana Co. mansion


LEETONIA, Ohio (WYTV) – Fire completely engulfed one of Columbiana County’s most historic homes Tuesday afternoon, destroying the three-story mansion built in 1908.

The intense fire at the 5,500 square foot McKeefrey Farms Mansion in Leetonia burned for about three-and-a-half hours. It sits about 200 yards off of W. Main Street extension, close to State Route 344.

The owner of the house was on the scene. At times, he was visibly upset with the firefighters.

He declined to be interviewed on camera but said five generations have lived in the house. The McKeefrey family owned Grafton Furnaces in Leetonia in the early 1900s.

His 93-year-old mother still lived there but made it out safely.

When 33 WYTV News crews showed up around 5:40 p.m., the fire had already been burning for a little over an hour. Flames could be seen shooting from the roof and a third-floor dormer window was destroyed.

The smoke from the fire could be seen for several miles.

Responding were 25 to 30 departments, including Canfield, Austintown, Beaver Township, and Springfield Township. Crews on the scene said every Columbiana County department, except for two, was there.

For firefighters, water was a problem because there was little pressure. They used a nearby pond and later diverted water from the Leetonia Trade Park, which is close by.

Thirty-five minutes after WYTV arrived, the entire roof was on fire. Flames were shooting from a side window and the fire had spread to the first floor.

In the end, the roof fell in but the exterior walls and all six chimneys remained standing.