AKRON, Ohio -- A piece of Akron's history went up in flames as the former St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Sunday school caught fire late Wednesday night.

Heavy smoke and flames could be seen shooting from the building on Forge and East Market.

The building is now part of the University of Akron.

A University spokesman told Channel 3 the building has been vacant for the past year or more.

According to Preservationakron.org the building was most recently used as the University of Akron Ballet center, but the University was looking to possibly demolish it.

The site gives a detailed history of the buildings that dates back to 1885 and 1909.

“The older part is an excellent example of the highly popular church style known as the Akron Sunday School Plan, which originated in our city and spread across the nation. Through its rector, the church played a role in the establishment of Alcoholics Anonymous, founded in Akron in 1935.”