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Posted: 10:53 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012
ALAMEDA, Calif. —
Firefighters are investigating a suspicious fire at the American Oak restaurant in downtown Alameda Saturday morning.
The one-alarm fire started at around 6 a.m. at American Oak restaurant on the 2000 block of Santa Clara Avenue in Alameda, firefighters said.
Firefighters tackled part of the fire from the roof and the smoke and flames didn't spread to any other buildings.
It appeared that the fire started at in least two different places inside the restaurant, said firefighter Allyn Richterman, which is an indication that it was intentionally set.
“An accidental fire probably would only have one cause,” Richterman said. “The chance of it being in two or three different spots in two or three different ways, definitely raises our suspicions.”
No one was injured in the fire, firefighters and police investigating the fire closed off Santa Clara Avene between Park and Oak streets.
Max Rushin, a cook for American Oak , said eight or nine people work at the restaurant and it used to called Barcelona, but the owners recently renamed it.
Rushin said the restaurant has a lot of regular customers who will be disappointed to see the restaurant closed for a while.
“I can't think of anybody who'd be so malicious they'd want to do something to this place,” Rushkin said.
Several restaurant workers watched Saturday as investigators gathered evidence from across the street and wondered when they could head back to work.
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