SALEM – Crews have responded three times in the last five weeks to fires at the same Salem strip mall, and investigators said arson is to blame in all three cases.
The most recent fire started just after 4 a.m. Thursday at La Movida Bar & Grill, in the 3500 block of Portland Road NE, said Lt. Steve Birr of the Salem Police Department. He said just as repairs from one fire are completed, another fire is started.
"In my entire career I don’t think I've ever seen someone so determined to try and burn a building to the ground," he said.
Each of the fires was started in the early morning hours, using a liquid accelerant, Birr said. In each case, two people were caught on surveillance video as they ran away.
The property owner has offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonists. Anyone with information was asked to contact Salem police.