The Chief Investigator for the Youngstown Fire Department has ruled arson as the cause of a fire that heavily damaged a once-popular restaurant on the city's South Side. 

Just after 10:30 p.m. Thursday, smoke and flames could be seen rising from the building that once was home to the Colonial House on the 2600 block of Market Street.

Chief Investigator Kurt Wright tells 21 News that the fire started on the first floor and spread to the second floor and roof through holes caused by rotting wood.

Wright says the building was covered by insurance.

Part of Market Street was blocked off from Indianola Road to Princeton Avenue  as crews worked to extinguish the fire

Built in 1955, the restaurant closed in 1995 after former owners Robert VanSickel and John Ridel cited a declining customer base.

According to property records, the last registered owner of the property is Richard Stiles.



 Vindicator file photo / Dec. 29 1960 | Fourteen area cadets of U.S. military academies were guests at the seventh annual cadets’ luncheon 60 years ago at the Colonial House. In the front row, from left, are Lt. Cmdr. Homer  Fults of the Naval Finance Center in Cleveland; U.S. Rep. Michael J. Kirwan, through whom the cadets received their appointments;  Cmdr. B.M. Chiswell, U.S. Coast Guard personnel, Cleveland,  and George Baxter, U.S. Naval Academy.   Back row, from left, Jeffery T. Heat, U.S. Air Force Academy; Robert C. McClure, Annapolis; Ronald M. McCollum, Air Force; Thomas B. Johnson, Annapolis; J.B. Connaughton, Annapolis.