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BURBANK : Arson Suspected in Fire at Restaurant

A popular Burbank hamburger restaurant that exploded and burned last week may have been intentionally set afire with gasoline, fire officials said Tuesday.

“It’s possible that flammable liquids were the cause,” said Burbank Fire Capt. Robert Reinhardt. “We’re investigating it as an arson.”

Fire officials said a loud boom was heard by dozens of residents within a three-block radius of the restaurant about 3:13 a.m. Friday. Firefighters arrived moments later but the small restaurant was already fully engulfed in flames. The fire was put out in about 90 minutes and no one was injured, officials said.

Trained dogs were brought to the fire scene Friday and helped investigators determine that the fire started inside the restaurant on the side closest to the parking lot.

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Reinhardt said investigators believe someone may have deliberately set the fire using gasoline, although no one has reported seeing any suspicious activity in or around the restaurant in the predawn hours.

The restaurant was closed for the holidays when the fire struck.

Built in the 1950s in the 1400 block of Olive Avenue, Don’s was a favorite gathering spot in the community. On Friday, dozens of residents and regular customers stopped to pay their respects as workers cleared the charred rubble.

Reinhardt said Burbank fire officials are working with Los Angeles County arson investigators to determine the cause of the fire.

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