1841 - Courthouse Disaster
1857 - Main Street Fire
1913 - The Great Flood
1934 - Bronze Powder Explosion
1945 - Downtown Business Block Fire
1949 - Riverside Apartments Fire
1957 - Lake Erie College Memorial Hall Fire
1958 - State Street Building Fire
1958 - Abbott Mill Fire
1962 - Lutz Tavern Fire
1978 - The White Hurricane
1985 - Super Bowl Sunday Fire
1988 - Colony Lumber Fire
1996 - The Blizzard of '96
1996 - Java Joe's Coffee House Fire
2001 - Steele Mansion Fire
At 3:36 p.m. on January 3, 2001 a fire was reported at the Steele Mansion at 348 Mentor Avenue across from Lake Erie College. Crews fought the flames until 8:30 p.m. The cause was determined to be the use of heating torches to remove built up ice from the structure. The roof was completely destroyed as well as much of the interior. Built in 1867, it was said to be the grandest home in Painesville through the early 1900s. Many famous visitors stayed there through the years including Amelia Earhart. The home transferred between private ownership and the college a few times but sat largely empty. After the 2001 fire, the mansion remained abandon until December 2010 when a couple bought the property and restored it to it's former grandeur as a Bed and Breakfast.
2006 - The Flood of '06
On July 27-28, 2006 Northeast Ohio was hit with torrential rain. Flooding was common across the area with Lake County hit hard and the City of Painesville hit the hardest. Initially the rains caused flooding of underpasses and along streets where the storm sewers were unable to handle the sudden heavy rains. As the rain continued into the evening of July 27, the City experienced flooding in areas that had never flooded before. Water levels in residential streets far from the Grand River reached three feet or higher.
By 1:00 a.m. on July 18 it was evident that the flooding had reached disastrous levels. By 3:00 a.m. the Grand River had spilled over its banks. The river peaked at 10:00 a.m. at nearly 18 feet (flood stage is eight feet), a record level for the Grand River in Painesville. Over 300 residents were evacuated from their homes.
Two condominium developments off of E Main Street were totally destroyed and determined to be beyond repair. The cost of this disaster was well over $10,000,000. Fire departments from across Northeast Ohio responded to this emergency. The Coast Guard also assisted in rescues via helicopter. Despite the tremendous damage to property, there was no loss of life or serious injuries sustained due in part to the quick actions of emergency crews.
2007 - CSX Train Derailment
At 12:00 noon on October 10, 2007, a CSX train carrying pulling 112 cars east bound near Shamrock Blvd derailed. The then remote area north of W Jackson Street, is a watershed that feeds the fragile nationally-protected Mentor Marsh. 32 cars derailed in the crash, most of which were non-hazardous and 9 of which presented major concerns: 6 ethanol tankers, 1 phthalic anhydride tanker, 1 bio-diesel tanker and 1 LPG car. There was active fire when crews arrived on scene.
Residents and businesses with a half mile of the crash were evacuated and two major highways were shut down. In all, over 50 fire departments, 5 law enforcement agencies, the FBI, the local Emergency Management Agency, the local health district, the EPA, the NTSB, the FRA and the state PUCO responded to the scene as well as CSX and their private contractors.
The event lasted over 72 hours and concluded late October 13, 2007. Thanks to all those involved, the emergency was handled without a single injury and without Mentor Marsh sustaining any environmental damage.