Clifton bar fire deemed ‘suspicious'

CINCINNATI - Officials are calling a fire that erupted at a Clifton bar early Wednesday morning "suspicious."

A Cincinnati police officer patrolling the Clifton area saw smoke coming out of the Upper Room Bar & Grill, 3201 Jefferson Avenue at about 3:30 a.m. when it suddenly burst into flames. The officer described the sudden flames as an explosion.

No one was injured in the fire, according to officials. No one was in the building at the time of the fire and authorities are calling the business a vacant building because electricity was turned off.

Fire crews extinguished the flames by about 5 a.m. The building is being called a complete loss and damage is estimated at $100,000.

"We went defensive. The fire just got ahead of us and there is a lot of cut up areas and hidden spots. We went defensive just so we can get a handle on it," said Cincinnati Fire Chief Greg Potter.

Alice Brown, who works at the City Limit Laundry across the street from the Upper Room Bar & Grill, said she was cleaning when she smelled the smoke.

"The smoke was really strong in here and you could hardly see the fire trucks from in here except for the lights flashing because the smoke was so bad," Brown said. "It was a mess."

While officials are calling the fire suspicious, they have not released information about the cause of the fire.

9 On Your Side has a crew on the scene. Stay with 9 On Your Side and for updates as they become available.

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9 On Your Side Reporter Mario Ramirez contributed to this report.

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