With second and third degree burns over 80 to 90 percent of their bodies a father and son are in the hospital after an explosive fire at their West Chester restaurant last night.
Agents from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and local fire and police officials were at the scene of Steak Thyme restaurant shortly after the
explosion ripped through their restaurant around 8:30 p.m.
Agents think that the explosion is suspicious and are continuing their investigation this morning but are not ruling out all options. Whether it was a hate crime against the owners, a crime against the business itself or merely and accident are all not out of the question.
The Middletown Journal News is reporting that the business has been at the center of several other incidents, even one that happened yesterday morning. The report has said that the owner showed up to open yesterday morning and noticed a window had been broken out and smoke coming from inside. Before that, the story says, someone poured gasoline inside of the store and tried to set it on fire. In May the owner found a beer bottle filled with gasoline lying outside after it had been thrown against the building.
Police say that the owners have not had any threats against them as far as they know.
"we have no evidence that would tell us that the owners or the employees of the business are the target," said Lt. Dave Tivin of the West Chester Police Department. "it's more like the structure has been the target of the damage."
The two victims were taken to University Hospital for treatment for severe burns and a third is also being treated for smoke inhalation.
FOX19 News continues to cover this story and we'll have the latest.