Fire, break-in add to urgency of Clarion demolition

<span id="bIImageViewer_CaptionTextID">Dishes and other items litter the floor of Clarion's old kitchen.</span><span id="bIImageViewer_CreatorTextID"> <span class="NsSpacer"> </span> </span>

A fire on Sunday and a break-in one day later has re-ignited a debate about the future of the former Clarion hotel in South Toledo.

Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins is asking city council to approve $300,000 to help pay for the demolition of the vacant hotel on Reynolds Road, near the site of the former Southwyck Mall.

"The building has to come down, it's as simple as that, and we are waiting to get clarity from the state of Ohio as to where they are on this because the city of Toledo does not own the building," Mr. Collins said.

Joel Mazur, the mayor's deputy chief of staff, says the total cost to demolish the building would be $850,000.

Mazur says once city council approves the $300,000 Collins is asking for, the administration then can access state and federal funds that would make up the difference.

Once ownership of the building is transferred from the state to the Lucas County Land Bank, the demolition process would move forward.

EXCLUSIVE: Photos inside Clarion show extensive vandalism

Toledo fire crews responded to the hotel on Sunday afternoon after a fire broke out on the third floor. Lt. Matt Hertzfeld of the Toledo Fire Department tells NBC 24 that investigators have determined the fire was deliberately set. Damage is estimated at $25,000.

The debate resumes Tuesday at 4 p.m. in city council chambers at One Government Center