Fire marshal calls restaurant fire "suspicious"

Source: Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal
Source: Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal

MADISONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Officials said the investigation into a fire that destroyed a closed restaurant in St. Tammany Parish has been determined to be criminal.

The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal reported it has deputies on the scene of a blaze at Friends Restaurant in Madisonville.

State Fire Marshal Butch Browning is calling the fire suspicious and added K-9 units are part of the investigation.

"We found some circumstances that lead us to believe the fire could have been intentionally set," Browning explained. "So, in the spirit of that, we're conducting a criminal investigation."

According to Browning, a party was held at the restaurant Sunday night. He said "suspicious activity" was reported in the area after the party.

Browning added firefighters from Madisonville and St. Tammany District 4 battled the fire all night.

His office is still investigating exactly what caused the fire.

According to WWL-TV, the restaurant had been closed since last year when it was damaged by Hurricane Issac.

Owners said demolition was set to begin on the building Monday morning to clear the ground for a new restaurant.

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