Police: Restaurant owner set business on fire

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PICKENS COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) — Investigators with the Safety Fire Commissioner’s Office arrested 23-year-old Tyler Jose Suarez on Wednesday.

Suarez was charged with 1 Count of First Degree Arson stemming from his alleged involvement in setting fire to Bee’s Home Cooking, a restaurant he owned.

“People who deliberately set fire to a structure, whether it be for insurance money or revenge, will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Any form of arson will not be tolerated in this state,” said Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King. “Not only does arson put lives in danger, it causes insurance premiums to rise and hardworking Georgians to suffer.”

The 3,698 square-foot building built in 1986 suffered moderate damage to the interior. Thankfully, Police say no one was inside at the time of the fire.

Investigators believe this is an isolated incident and not related to the other restaurant fire that occurred in Pickens County in early October.

Investigators with the Safety Fire Commissioner’s Office are assisting the Jasper Fire Department, Jasper Police Department, and the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office with this investigation.

First Degree Arson is a felony punishable by a fine of no more than $50,000 or by a prison term between one and twenty years, or both.

Suarez was booked at the Pickens County Jail and has already posted bond.

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