2 fires at Henderson Mexican restaurants in less than a month stir concern
Posted December 17, 2018 4:48 a.m. EST
Updated December 17, 2018 6:03 p.m. EST
Henderson, N.C. — For the second time in less than a month, firefighters were called early Monday to extinguish a blaze at a Mexican restaurant in Henderson.
Firefighters responded to the Habanero Grill, located at 116 Parham Road, around 3 a.m.
No injuries were reported but the blaze has raised concern among some who think the blaze Monday and another one on Nov. 27 at Mazatlan Mexican7 could be the result of hate crimes. Mazatlan Mexican located at 1054 Ruin Creek Road.
On Mazatlan's Facebook page, it is clear that the restaurant was a source of joy for the community.
From big parties to major milestones, the restaurant has been a crowd favorite in Henderson for more than 20 years.
"I am very familiar with it," said Henderson Fire Department Chief Steve COrdell. "I eat there several days a week. Our heart goes out to them."
The blaze at Mazatlan damaged a significant part of the eatery.
Surveillance cameras are posted at Habanero Grill, but it is not clear if they were working when the pre-dawn fire was reported early Monday morning.
Said Cordell: "We're still trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together."
Both fires started in the dining room areas of the restaurants in the early morning hours.
Cordell said his agency is working with the State Bureau of Investigation to determine if the fires were intentionally set.
"It's concerning that we are having these fires," Cordell said. "The fires are not only putting our people in danger, but the livelihood of those people who work is in jeopardy."