Investigator: No working alarm to catch fire at downtown Youngstown clubs

Local News

Ironically, it was 911 operators around the corner who first smelled and saw smoke Sunday morning

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Damage to a downtown Youngstown nightclub is likely to be extensive after a fire early Sunday morning in the city’s Central Square. It was actually people around the corner who first saw smoke and alerted firefighters.

The fire at a pair of nightclubs — Liquid Blu and The Thirsty Peanut — happened just before 4 a.m. Sunday.

Youngstown Fire Capt. Kurt Wright said the city didn’t require the owners to have a sprinkler system and there was not a working alarm.

“The building was secured when we arrived on scene and there was approximately a two-hour gap from the time the last person left ’til we received the call,” Wright said.

Ironically, it was 911 operators at city hall who first smelled the smoke.

“Once they realized it was not inside their building, they looked outside and saw smoke coming out of it,” Wright said.

He said quick work by firefighters, along with the building’s sturdy concrete and brick construction, kept the fire from spreading and held in the intense heat.

Neighboring businesses are grateful firefighters were able to keep the fire from reaching them. On Monday, it was business as usual right next door.

Workers at Avalon Downtown Pizza were taking lunch orders even though fire gutted the first floor of Liquid Blu next to them and heavily damaged The Thirsty Peanut above.

“It could have been a lot worse,” said Alexis Marucci, manager at Avalon. “We share walls but other than the smell, a little bit of smoke damage, nothing to stop us from opening today.”

Owners of the nightclubs went through the building, along with fire investigators, who said they’re still not sure of a specific cause but are leaning toward a possible electrical problem.

It’s estimated there could be several hundred thousand dollars in damage.

Editor’s note: There was no working alarm in the building that would have detected smoke, a break-in or other things inside.

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