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Published: Thursday, 4/27/2006

North Toledo bar damaged by 5th fire in past month

For the fifth time in a month, a fire of suspicious origin occurred last night at a vacant North Toledo bar, this time damaging it beyond repair, authorities said.

The fire at Millie's Place, 832 Buckeye St., was reported about 6:30 p.m., and started in the first-floor bar area. Crews fought the blaze until about 9:45 p.m. and were expected to remain at the scene until early this morning.

Battalion Fire Chief Mark Klein said there was little doubt in his mind as to the cause.

"I'd have to say it's arson. We didn't catch anybody in the act, but we had the electrical [line] cut," he said. "There wasn't any other source of ignition."

The first fire at the building occurred March 30 in the basement, causing $10,000 damage. Since then, fire officials said four more fires, including yesterday's blaze, occurred at the two-story building. A blaze April 20 had flames erupting from a side wall and upstairs apartment, causing an additional $10,000 damage. Officials termed each fire suspicious.

As for last night's blaze, Chief Klein said the damaged building was only worth about $500.

"You couldn't do too much more damage to the place," he said. The building is slated for demolition.

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