Euclid police search for arsonist who caused $250K in damage to Paragon bar

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 10:56 PM EDT
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EUCLID, Ohio (WOIO) - Euclid police are searching for an arsonist who caused a quarter of a million dollars worth of damage to the Paragon early Monday morning.

A customer who seemed suspicious to Paragon employees late Sunday night and was asked to leave was caught on their surveillance cameras coming back inside the bar after it was closed.

Police believe he may have been the one who started the fire, and are calling him a person of interest in the case.

Owner Jackie Morere was driving home from her other bar downtown when she saw her business up in flames.

“Everyone thought it could’ve been the kitchen where the fire originally had started but I spoke to my cook they closed the kitchen at 9 o’clock, I called my bartenders, everything was fine when they had left but they also mentioned there was a suspicious individual that was in here earlier that my husband had to ask to leave,” Morere said.

The Euclid Fire Department and the Fire Marshal believe this was a case of arson.

“My intuition kept telling me something was off,” Morere said. “Something wasn’t right, how everyone had left for the evening and within 20 minutes the whole place was engulfed in smoke and there was flames.”

Luckily since Morere’s DVR was in the basement, she was able to get the footage.

She said the same man who had been in her bar at around 11 Sunday night was captured on her surveillance video.

The video shows him coming back to their outside bar after all her employees had left.

“He just got a water, wasn’t ordering anything just kind of sitting around so he was asked to leave because he wasn’t purchasing anything just kind of sitting around the business not ordering anything so that is why he was asked to leave,” she said.

Recent estimates put the total damage to her bar at around $250,000. Morere has insurance but it’s a process.

She said it will take at least a few months before she can reopen.

“My main concern at this point is my employees, my cooks, my bartenders,” Morere said. “I want to make sure they’re okay. A lot of them this is their main job. They don’t have other jobs so I’m kind of telling them to hang tight for me ‘cause I wanna make sure they’re taken care of as well.”

The hair salon next door also had some smoke damage, but they were still able to see customers today.

“I’m feeling blessed that the Euclid firemen saved my business but I’m also super devastated for what happened to our neighbors at the Paragon,” said Jennifer Worden, Owner of Bombshell Beauty and Spa.

Morere is incredibly grateful no one was hurt and that firefighters were able to get the fire out as fast as they did, but she’s hopeful police will find the man from her surveillance videos.

Police said the man was spotted near the bar last night but by the time they responded, he was gone.

The Ohio Blue Ribbon Arson Committee is offering a $5,000 reward for any information that helps them track down the person responsible.