A fire at an Orange County restaurant is being investigated by police over suspicions that it was deliberately started in direct reaction to the restaurant's mask wearing policy.
The suspicious blaze was put out before any serious damage was done at The Cellar, a historic restaurant in Fullerton, California, on Tuesday. However, evidence suggests that the fire was deliberately started by someone attempting to burn two signs stipulating state orders for those entering the premises to wear masks.
Executive chef Scott Rosales told CBS Los Angeles: "Someone ripped off the two signs that were just explaining the state ordinances and what you had to do to be able to dine with us and decided to burn them in one of our little display areas in front of our restaurant.
"It's kind of sad that someone wants to get rid of such a Fullerton icon, an Orange County icon, just for wearing a mask," he added.
Police are investigating whether this is a case of arson and are looking for a suspect. “The businesses are trying to do their part, they are trying to stay open, trying to maintain a livelihood along with abiding by the laws and the rules,” Sgt. Eric Bridges of the Fullerton Police Department told CBS Los Angeles.
Coronavirus cases in California are rising and Orange County has the third-highest number of infections in the state, after Los Angeles County and Riverside County, reports Newsweek.