Lawsuit: Boardman restaurant destroyed by fire behind on rent - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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Lawsuit: Boardman restaurant destroyed by fire behind on rent

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BOARDMAN, Ohio - A Boardman restaurant is reduced to rubble, after a Tuesday morning fire engulfed "The Spice of India" restaurant.

21 News has learned that the restaurant has also been embroiled in a heated lawsuit over the past several months.

The first 911 calls came in to Boardman Police Dispatch at 4:16 a.m. Callers said flames were shooting from the roof and the windows of the restaurant located on Market Street and McClurg.

When firefighters arrived, Chief George Brown of the Boardman Fire Department says the front of the building was fully engulfed.

"We went into defensive mode, so as not to risk the life of any firefighters because it was so fully involved when we got here," Chief Brown said.

Market Street, near St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Boardman was completely shutdown for about an hour and a half as Boardman fire even called in off-duty personnel and Beaver Township Fire to help.

Damage is estimated at $250,000. What's still unclear is the cause of the fire.

Heavy equipment had to be brought in to raise the roof, and move the steel trusses off the building, all in an effort to find the cause and origin.

"We're trying to put the pieces together. We're working with the Boardman Police Department, and we're talking to all the people involved and trying to put the pieces back together so we can try and recreate what happened," Chief Brown said.

Fire investigators are not willing to say if the cause is suspicious.

However, 21 News has learned that the restaurant has recently been at the center of a legal dispute. We've obtained the copy of a lawsuit filed by the owner of the property, Tzarnas Family Co. LLC, against the person paying to lease the space for the restaurant.

The plaintiff in the suit says Rajendra B. Ingle has been on a month-to-month tenancy, and has allegedly failed to pay the rent of $2,000 a month for August and September.

We reached Ingle by telephone for comment, but he told 21 News he has been advised by his attorney not to comment to news reporters.

The Metro Arson Task Force and the State Fire Marshal are investigating this incident.

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