The Times West Virginian

Local News

March 4, 2014

Restaurant fire said to be arson

FAIRMONT — The fire that severely damaged a downtown business Friday has been determined to be arson.

According to Fairmont Fire Chief Jim Emerick, an accelerator was used to start the fire in the kitchen of the River City Grille, on Merchant Street on the East Side.

The fire was called in just after 4 a.m. Friday. No one was in the building at the time and no injuries were reported.

The fire had been deemed “suspicious” with extensive damage to the kitchen and roof. When responders arrived on scene, flames were coming from the roof.

The building is not considered a total loss, but it has suffered thousands of dollars in damage.

Smoke, fire and water damage significantly affected the building, but the fire did not cause a total loss. The majority of the fire damage was contained to the origin room of the fire.

The establishment was hooked up to gas and electrical services during the blaze, according to Shine.

According to city officials, the fire is similar in nature to a previous fire at the same business in early November. The building and establishment are owned and rented by the same individuals from the previous fire.

The water used to extinguish the fire froze on the sidewalk and Merchant Street. Crews were able to cinder the road before any accidents occurred.

The Fairmont Fire Department, the Fairmont Police Department, and the Marion County Rescue Squad were all at the scene.

The Fairmont Police Department and West Virginia State Fire Marshal are investigating.

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