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Investigators believe fire at South Ave. convenience store was arson

Several fighters had to crawl on the roof of Ally's Food Store to find the fire

YOUNGSOTWN, Ohio (WYTV) - A fire at a closed convenience store on Youngstown's south side has been ruled arson.

It started around 5:30 Thursday morning at Ally's Food Store on South Avenue.

The store has been closed for some time but was in the process of being remodeled. The building's utilities are in place but none of them were on, according to Youngstown Arson Investigator Kurt Wright.

He said the fire was set on the outside.

"We were able to determine that the fire was actually set on the outside of the structure and, obviously, there was minor to moderate damage to the inside of the structure."

The majority of the damage was done to the outside of the store on the roof area.

Several firefighters had to crawl onto the roof to find the flames but Wright said they were able to get a handle on the fire quickly.

"Fortunately, the person who called it in was able to call it in quickly enough and we had a fast response time to minimize the damage."

About ten minutes before the fire at Ally's Food Store, crews responded to a nearby house fire in Boardman on South Avenue. A man was living in the house but made it out safely.

Wright said the fires are not connected.

"Talking to their officials, there is no connection. It's just a coincidence that there were two fires a short distance away from each other, at the same time."

No suspect has been identified yet.

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