Restaurant Fire Under Investigation
RANCHO MIRAGE-- Investigators are looking for clues that suggest arson caused the blaze that engulfed GG's Island restaurant Tuesday morning.
Karan Kler, a lawyer for the Saad Said, who owns GG's, said the fire comes after months of feuding between his client and the man, Craig Marlar, who sold his restaurant to Said. Marlar is now saying he was never fully paid, and still owns the restaurant.
Now insurance investigators are combing through the debris for clues that point to arson.
"We're coming in more or less from a insurance stand point which may end up being civil in some cases or if an incident does turn into a criminal investigation, then the municipalities handle that," said Jim Desouza, the fire investigator for the insurance company.
But nailing down arson can be difficult.
"A lot of the times it takes a really strong investigation and in this particular case they are working it rather aggressively. They have a lot of factors that they are looking into at this fire," said Desouza.
One of the factors: When the burglary alarm was set off. Before the fire was reported, police responded to a burglary alarm going off. If the alarm went off long before a fire started, that could be a clue it was set on purpose.
The blaze caused more than $5 million worth of damages and the insurance company for Said called the building a total loss.
The architect of the 1977 building said it should be rebuilt.
"Public memory, that's why it's important. People have memories. It's 35 years old. It's a work of art that people appreciate," said Kellogg.
Jessica Flores, KMIR6 News.