MECCA TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – The Tracks Inn Again bar on Route 5 in Mecca Township is all rubble after burning to the ground overnight.
At 2 a.m. Monday, owner Sheri Streitferdt got the call that her bar was on fire.
When crews arrived, flames were shooting from the roof.
“I almost puked. I didn’t know what to think,” she said.
Streitferdt bought the bar in 2013 and now it’s gone — there’s nothing in the rubble to save.
The bar closed around 9:30 Sunday night and Streitferdt said that was the last time anyone was inside.
Nobody was around when the fire started near the back deck four hours later. A motion alarm had gone off, alerting 911.
No injuries were reported and a cause hasn’t been determined.
Streitferdt was told the fire looks suspicious.
“When you own a bar and you have confrontations with people, you tell them they have to leave and not come back. It’s part of owning a business,” she said. “Some people don’t take it too good. I can’t say that’s what happened but you don’t know.”
Until Streitferdt does know, the hurt from a fire that destroyed her business will continue.
She said it was more than just a business to her — it was a place to escape another tragedy in her life. Streitferdt is battling Stage 4 cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2014 — a year after buying Tracks Inn Again.
The bar and the 500 people who would come for Fish Frys or Karaoke gave her the strength to fight.
A steady stream of people stopped by Monday to see the damage.
“If you can tell by all the people pulling in, taking pictures, it’s been a local landmark for quite a while,” said Mecca Township Fire Lt. Kevin Kuriatnyk.
Jerry Holko also agreed that it was a town staple.
“A lot of people had great times here and a lot of friends I knew hung out here,” he said.
Jeff Welsh wanted to hang some flyers in the bar on Monday to promote his band that was scheduled to play there in two weeks.
“I turned the corner and saw the building up in flames,” he said. “It means a lot of people are going to be out of a job, especially the owners’ expense. It’s sad. A lot of good memories. Don’t know what to think, kind of stunned right now.”
Before it was Tracks Inn Again, the bar had numerous names over its more than 50-year history, including Shaney’s, Big L’s, and Crickets.
The bar had a Queen of Hearts Game going with a jackpot over $7,000. Now they’ll never know what card the queen was under.
Tracks Inn Again has kept Streitferdt smiling. Now she’s wondering if rebuilding is possible.
“I don’t know if I can or not. I can’t say.”
Route 5 between Bradley-Brownlee Road and Route 11 was closed for several hours as crews worked to control the fire.
Tracks Inn Again destroyed by fire
Tracks Inn Again destroyed by fire x