Washington Heights Restaurant Fire ruled arson, police say – NBC Chicago

A fire that engulfed a restaurant in Washington Heights overnight was ruled an arson, according to law enforcement officials.

Police said officers and firefighters responded to Joys Seafood and Steak Market in the 9500 block of South Halsted Street just before 12:20 a.m. Sunday and discovered a fire affecting the restaurant.

While the restaurant was closed and no injuries were reported, the building suffered extensive damage.

“I can’t tell you how it feels when you work hard. You do your thing, renovate the store. Invest a lot of money in this place. I spent around $160,000,” Iyad Hamayel said.

Hamayel is co-owner of Joys Seafood and Steak Market. He anticipates that the restaurant will be closed for a long time.

Even though it’s not his only business, he would lose income as long as his doors were closed.

“They say we’re going to be closed for a while,” he said.

In addition to extensive fire damage, the building also suffered up to two inches of flooding in some areas with debris from the fire strewn throughout the restaurant.

The surrounding businesses were also damaged, including ABC 95 located next door.

“We sell clothes, a lot of clothes in our store, so obviously it’s all been smoked out. I don’t know, it’s going to be tough,” owner Waseem Doleh said.

Police say ABC 95th also suffered damage last week when a U-HAUL truck entered the building. Police told NBC 5 there was no evidence the incidents were connected.

As authorities continue to investigate, Doleh and Hamayel pick up the pieces.

“It’s going to take time for me to open up,” Doleh said.

As for Hamayel, he told NBC 5 he was worried about reopening.

“I want to see what is the reason why someone is doing it. I’m not going to open. I’m not going to risk it anymore,” Hamayel said.

NBC Chicago

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button