Officials: Fire at Middle Eastern restaurant was intentional

Posted at 8:41 AM, Nov 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-07 09:41:44-05

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Federal investigators have determined that a fire last week at a Kansas restaurant run by a Middle Eastern family was intentionally set.

The Petra Mediterranean Restaurant in Wichita was destroyed Wednesday. The words "Go back" were painted on a nearby storage unit.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $5,000 reward for information about the fire.

The FBI, which investigates hate crimes, was notified last week.

The restaurant's owners, Ranya Taha and Bashar Mahanweh, said last week that they thought the fire might have been a hate crime. They also said the community has rallied around them and they have lived in Wichita for years and have always found the community to be loving and supportive.