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Fire destroys Torch Club on West Side

YOUNGSTOWN — A fire Saturday morning at the Torch Club Bar and Grill on Salt Springs Road — which was the site of a double homicide three years ago — is under investigation.

Fire Chief Barry Finley said crews were called at 10:50 a.m. Saturday after heavy smoke and flames were seen coming from the building. Finley said parts of the building had to be torn down for safety.

Crews returned at 6 p.m. after some of the fire rekindled. Finley said often after a building collapses, there are still hot spots that rekindle.

He said the bar,, which is not in use, is attached to Isabella’s Market, which is still standing.

He said the fire is believed to have started in a garage area of the building and then spread to the restaurant. The cause is not known, but there were no injuries

The bar was built in 1936 and was formerly known as Club Merry-Go-Round. It hosted such stars as Ella Fitzgerald.

On May 23, 2021, the Torch Club was the scene of a double homicide in which three others also were injured and another man was found dead in a crashed vehicle a few blocks away.

The shootings created a “chaotic scene” in which Youngstown police officers offered first aid to victims, and other area law enforcement officers helped control three crime scenes, Youngstown police Chief Carl Davis told reporters during a press conference the day after the shootings.

Davis said the shootings resulted from an incident that began at the Torch Club, 1283 Salt Springs Road, but one of the victims was inside a vehicle that crashed several blocks east at Salt Springs at Greenwood Street. It was originally thought he died of gunshot wounds, but a coroner’s investigator determined he died from injuries sustained in the crash.

The Mahoning County coroner’s office the next day identified the three people killed and a fourth man who also died near the bar Sunday night. They were Charles Boerio Jr., 27, who died after being found in vehicle that crashed at the intersection of Salt Springs Road and Greenwood Street several blocks east of the shootings, and Mikquan Stevens, 19, and Rayshaun Clay, 23, who were found with gunshot wounds near the bar that morning.

The coroner’s office also identified the man who was killed in a single-vehicle crash into pillars under Interstate 680 just west of the bar May 24, 2021, as Nicholas Boerio, 43, who was the uncle of Charles Boerio Sr.

The man accused in the head-on crash that killed the younger Boerio, Tyrone Chatman Jr., was found shot to death in a car at the Logan Gas Mart earlier this year.

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