ATF offers $5,000 reward in Petra restaurant fire

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Update Nov. 6:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Monday announced a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for starting a fire that caused extensive damage to the Petra Restaurant near 21st and Woodlawn in northeast Wichita.

The ATF says crews with the Wichita Fire Department quickly had the blaze under control on the early morning of Nov. 1, "but not before causing extensive damage."

Several days of investigation ruled the fire was intentionally set, the ATF says.

Now, the agency is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for setting the fire.

The Wichita Fire and Police Departments, Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office and ATF are investigating the case.

Anyone with information about the case, now ruled an arson, should contact ATF at 1-888-ATF-FIRE (1-888-283-3473), email ATFTips@atf.gov, contact ATF through its website , or text 63975 using the code ATFKC. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

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Update: November 3

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and The State Fire Marshal's Office is assisting with the fire investigation at Petra restaurant at 21st and Woodlawn.

Wichita police say once the cause of the fire is determined, they will see if it is a hate crime.

The type of construction makes it difficult to determine the cause of the fire building collapse.

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Update: November 2

Graffiti found on the back of a Wichita restaurant involved in a fire on Wednesday morning has the business owners worried.

On the back of Petra Resturant says - "go back" - and that has the owners worried it was a hate crime.

Firefighters have yet to determine a cause. The owners are from the middle east but have lived in Wichita for 16 years.

They say despite the fire they're not leaving town.
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Petra restaurant at 21st and Woodlawn is now destroyed following an early morning fire.

Crews were called to a strip mall shortly after 2:00 a.m on Wednesday morning. Once they arrived, they found fire coming from the building and called a second alarm.

Firefighters noticed flames in three storefront windows when they arrived on scene. That fire then spread to the roof.

Fire crews say luckily no one was inside the restaurant at the time. They do not know the cause of the fire.

"We're currently in the defensive mode... Pretty much we are about to get it under control. Just mopping hotspots. The fire was at 2 restaurants in the strip mall. The fire has been contained to the west end of the strip mall," says Interim Fire Chief Tammy Snow.

Firefighters continue to investigate what caused the fire.