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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber UTFFEMT's Avatar
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    Post Orem, suspect Arson in Restaurant Fire

    Police suspect arson in Orem restaurant fire
    Story Discussion Image (2) Police suspect arson in Orem restaurant fire
    Genelle Pugmire - Daily Herald Daily Herald | Posted: Monday, August 15,
    OREM -- A three-alarm blaze early Sunday morning that did more than $50,000 of damage to a local restaurant is under criminal investigation.

    Sgt. Randy Crowther, of the Orem arson investigation team, said they believe the fire at Pirate Island Pizza in the University Mall complex was arson because investigators found evidence of forced entry, multiple fires were started and there also was extensive vandalism inside the restaurant. He also said that because of the fires there were also multiple water flows from ceiling sprinklers that left a large amount of water damage to the building.

    Pirate Island is a multi-faceted eating and entertainment operation. Inside the building were sophisticated theatrical props, stages, arcades and dining areas. Crowther said, just by sight, there was considerable loss. Early Sunday morning, Crowther and his team were still waiting for the building to be secured before they could began the complex investigation.

    As is normal with a building this size, several ambulances, fire trucks and police officers responded to the scene. They also received assistance from the Provo Fire Department. No one was in the building at the time. The managers had left just before 11 p.m.

    When asked, they said they were unable to make comments at the time.

    According to Shane Fredrickson, of the Orem police department, people coming out of the movie theater across the parking lot from Pirate Island heard the loud alarms going off and contacted police/fire dispatch around 12:45 a.m.

    Crowther said he expects the investigation to last at least three days because of the size of the building.

    Pirate Island is part of a small strip mall shopping area that also houses the Alphabet Station, Fotogenix and Cupcake Chic.

    "The fire was contained to just the Pirate Island area," Crowther added. It was still unknown if any of the other businesses had received smoke or other damage.

    Sgt. Craig Martinez with Orem Public Safety said the damage was between $50,000 and $75,000. Police were investigating leads.

    "We don't have anybody in custody," he said.



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  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber UTFFEMT's Avatar
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    Post Pirate Island arson investigation continues

    Pirate Island arson investigation continues
    Story Discussion Image (3) Pirate Island arson investigation continues
    Genelle Pugmire - Daily Herald Daily Herald | Posted: Tuesday, August 16,

    A fire destroyed more than $50,000 worth of damage at Pirate Island Pizza in Orem early Sunday morning and is under criminal investigation. Investigators said it was arson because they found evidence of forced entry, multiple fires were started and there also was extensive vandalism inside the restaurant. Photo courtesy of the Orem Police Department

    Multiple investigations have begun following a suspected arson early Sunday at the Pirate Island Restaurant and Family Arcade, just east of Costco at the University Mall complex.

    Sgt. Craig Martinez of the Orem police department said the investigation is being conducted by different teams looking at reasons someone would want to cause damage to the restaurant.

    "We are looking at every option," Martinez said. "We're approaching this investigation from several angles."

    All four Orem fire stations were called out on the blaze. Provo also sent assistance in case there was a need to help or respond to another call.

    According to Martinez, someone forced entry through the front doors, did vandalism, and started five separate fires within an hour and a half of when the managers said they had left the restaurant, just before 11 p.m. The restaurant closes at 10 p.m. on Saturdays.

    "It's too early to know much. This is not just fraud or arson, this is going to take more leg work," Martinez said.

    According to Lance Madigan, spokesman for the Utah County Health Department, "when a fire department responds to a fire when water sprinklers have gone off, the health department will come and determine if cooking and food preparation areas are safe to work and serve from," he said.

    However, Madigan said in a situation this large, owners will normally close the doors on the business until they decide if they are going to rebuild. "It is too early for the health department to get too involved," Madigan said.

    Utah County Health Department reports note that ownership of Pirate Island, a franchise, changed in January and there have been two inspections since then. Madigan added that it is normal procedure for the health department to come in at that time and inspect and inform the new owners of any concerns.

    According to health department reports, there were a few critical issues, including food temperatures not being hot or cold enough, use by dates not clearly labeled, and employees handling ready-to-eat foods with their bare hands, when they should have been wearing gloves or using tongs.

    "It is not uncommon for us to say you can do better," Madigan said. "We want to help create a safe environment."

    Damage and loss is estimated between $50,000 and $75,000. Pirate Island is part of a small strip mall shopping area that also houses the Alphabet Station, Fotogenix and Cupcake Chic. According to employees of the other businesses, there was no damage or even smoke smell in their stores.

    Pirate Island has headquarters in St. George and is owned by Jim Mayoros. Attempts to reach Mayoros by phone were unsuccessful. However, Mayoros has come to Orem because of the damages to the restaurant.

    Martinez is asking residents who may have seen anything suspicious to contact the Orem police at (801) 229-7070. There are few leads at this time.

    "We don't have anybody in custody," he said.



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