WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A suspicious fire Thursday morning damaged much of the Powerhouse Bar in Warren. Now investigators are looking for clues to figure out who lit the bar Warren officials have called a problem on fire.
Powerhouse Bar, located at Mahoning Avenue and Summit Street, has been the site of at least two shootings in the past three months. Now it’s boarded up and won’t be reopening tonight.
The large fire broke out around 4:30 a.m., destroying much of the inside.
“I used to come in here a long time ago,” said Ronald Bube, of Warren. “It’s a shame because it’s been around a while.”
Investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office posted Blue Ribbon Arson posters on the outside of the bar Thursday afternoon, asking for tips and offering a $5,000 reward.
Warren Fire Chief Ken Nussle said investigators found more than three spots inside where the fire started.
“I have a pretty good feeling that there may have been something poured inside this building.”
He said samples were sent to the lab for an analysis.
“To see what was poured. Surveillance cameras in the vicinity, so there are a number of things that have to be done yet.”
While fire investigators are busy piecing together that crime, police in Niles are currently looking into a break-in at the Davidsons Amvets Post 106 — an establishment whose tax bill gets sent to the same address as the Powerhouse’s taxes.
Police said early Monday morning, someone smashed through the Amvets door. Officers found the register on the floor but nothing, not even money, was missing from inside.
“It did appear that they left a hammer behind, whether that’s what they used to smash through the door or not remains to be seen. But it is here and may end up going to the lab as evidence, depending where the investigation goes,” said Niles Police Capt. John Marshall.
This is the second time Powerhouse Bar has been in the news this week. Police were called there Monday after a man was shot in the shoulder.
The shooting prompted some city officials to call for the bar to be closed.
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the State Fire Marshal’s Fire and Explosion Investigation Bureau at 800-589-2728.