- Associated Press - Friday, November 5, 2010

CHILLICOTHE, OHIO (AP) - Officials say a fire during a gospel performance forced the evacuation of the historic Majestic Theater in Chillicothe (chi-li-KAH’-thee).

The Chillicothe Gazette reported a curtain caught fire at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the theater that dates to the 1850s.

Aaron Crisler, spokesman for Nashville, Tenn.-based gospel singers The Nelons, said the group had just begun their first song when a fire alarm sounded.

Crisler said Kelly Nelon Clark, her husband Jason Clark and daughter Amber Nelon Thompson credited members of the group Beyond the Ashes for helping them to escape the blaze. He said the three members of The Nelons, three singers from Beyond the Ashes and a member of their management team were treated at a local hospital for smoke inhalation and released.

The Majestic Theater has hosted many legendary entertainers, including Laurel and Hardy, Milton Berle and Sophie Tucker.

A Chillicothe fire official said no official cause of the fire had been determined.