A downtown Binghamton building that once housed a bar that became known for drug dealing and violence was damaged by an early-morning fire.

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

The blaze in the lower level of the vacant property at 92 Henry Street was reported just before 4 a.m. today.

Authorities say the fire was brought under control within a few minutes. No injuries were reported.

The suspicious blaze damaged the area of the three-story building that once was home to Begie's bar. Police often were called to the establishment to deal with violent disputes, including shootings.

The place was notorious as one of the initial bases of operation for a Binghamton drug retailing ring that was broken up with the 1995 indictment of about 40 people on federal charges.

After Begie's closed, another bar - called Choices - operated in the building for a time.

According to Broome County property records, the site was acquired last April by a Sidney woman. The records indicate the property sold for $4,500.