BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Fire investigators in Boardman said Thursday that a blaze that destroyed part of a small business plaza Tuesday originated above the ceiling in the northwest section of the structure, occupied by Allstate Insurance, according to a press release from investigators.
Investigators believe the fire may have burned for a while before being noticed, due to extensive damage and the early collapse of the roof.
Officials said because the loss is estimated at more than $1 million, the Metro Arson Strike Task Force and the Ohio State Fire Marshal helped investigate the cause. The state marshal’s office is done investigating the case, according to the release, since it appears the fire was not intentionally set.
Flames already had burned through the roof of the structure by the time firefighters got to the scene late Tuesday afternoon in the 8100 block of Market Street. The plaza housed a Subway restaurant, an insurance agency and a photography studio.
Firefighters had responded to that plaza twice earlier this month to investigate a strange odor, but the source of the odor was never found.
Investigators are estimating the loss at $750,000 to the structure and $350,000 to the contents, for a total of $1.1 million.