TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

McKees Rocks arson victim says he'll match reward

Daily Photo Galleries

Allegheny Photo Galleries

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

The owner of a McKees Rocks rug business set on fire in October said he would match the $5,000 reward investigators offered Monday for information leading to arrest of the culprit.

“I want to catch whoever did that,” said Ken Ashtari, owner of Linder's Fine Furnishings and Rugs on Yunker Street. “I want to catch them. The sooner the better.”

No one was hurt in the Oct. 10 fire that caused about $2 million worth of damage, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The agency is investigating the fire along with Allegheny County police and the county Fire Marshal's Office.

The words “Iran” and “terrorist” were spray painted on the building several days before the fire. Investigators from the fire marshal's office have determined someone set the fire, which appeared to have started inside the building. ATF Agent Steven Bartholomew wouldn't say whether investigators believe the arson is a hate crime.

“We are stunned,” Ashtari said. “I've been here since 1989, and I've never seen anything like that happen. All of a sudden, for this to happen, it was stunning.”

Ashtari, who is from Iran, bought the business from his partner eight years ago. He continued selling furniture at a building he owns across the street, and fixed up a showroom in that building for the rugs about two weeks ago. He said customers called, emailed and stopped in to show support.

“I'm not going to go anywhere,” Ashtari said. “I'm not going to give up.”

The ATF is offering reward money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the fire. Anyone with information is asked to call the hotline 1-888-ATF-FIRE (1-888-283-3473) or email ATFTips@atf.gov.

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Ferrante, were wife at odds over trip
  2. Homewood welcomes nonprofit Animal Rescue League’s new shelter, clinic
  3. Pittsburgh’s Veterans Day parade moves to Saturday
  4. Defense witness testifies on video, absent jurors, of cyanide alternatives
  5. Warrant issued for North Side teen in Penn Hills shooting
  6. 32nd District seat in Pa. perceived as pivotal for chamber control
  7. Ferrante trial: Cyanide order form in plain sight
  8. Ferrante suicide letter says he did not kill wife
  9. Police ID naked man who fell over Shaler hillside
  10. Moon Area School District considers installing solar panels for electricity
  11. Ferrante defense questions recordkeeping of lab that tested cyanide
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.