McKees Rocks arson victim says he'll match reward
By Margaret Harding
Published: 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 email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- UPMC data breach shows easiness of tax return thefts
- 23 citations filed against drivers for app-based ride services
- Drilling questions lobbed in 2nd of 3 meetings regarding Deer Lakes Park
- Allegheny County Airport Authority’s former president exits with $186K deal
- Landmark former school in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to incubate startups
- Wilkinsburg woman, 24, dies in crash
- Former PPG executive indicted in fatal N.H. crash
- Former U.S. Steel executive and wife make $500,000 donation
- Newsmakers: Nicholas and Louis Suarez
- Legal experts question prosecuting South Fayette boy for recording bullies
- Post 9/11 veterans lend skills to community leadership course