October 26, 2014

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Fire Department: Lorain pizza shop fire a possible arson

LORAIN — A fire overnight caused “heavy, heavy damage” to a Lorain pizza shop, according to Fire Chief Tom Brown.

And the Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau and the Lorain Police Department are looking into whether it was intentionally set, according to Assistant Chief Randy Hupp.

Hupp said the scene is being investigated as a “possible break-in and possible arson” due to evidence found at the scene. He declined to go into detail on what that evidence was.

The fire, called in about 4:15 a.m. devastated D’Tutanelli’s Pizza at East Erie and Georgia avenues, which just opened a couple years ago under new management. It was formerly Granny D’s pizza and was the site of the 2007 murder of its owner at the time, David Kowalczyk.

The fire started in a back storage area, according to Brown, but the entire building sustained smoke and water damage. Hupp said damage was estimated at $125,000 to the building and $50,000 to its contents. He said the building and contents had been valued at $350,000.

Hupp said firefighters arrived to find “heavy fire coming from an east-side window” and he said it was apparent the fire had been burning for some time.

East Erie Avenue was closed between Georgia and Florida avenues for several hours as firefighters battled the fire.

Check back at Chroniclet.com for more on this story as it becomes available.