Pasadena, Md. (WJZ)– The owner of a popular Anne Arundel County bar and restaurant that was intentionally set on fire has increased the reward for information that leads to an arrest.
It’s been nearly a month since Coconut Charlies in Pasadena was destroyed in the fire federal investigators determined was intentionally set.
The owner is desperate for answers. He hopes that putting up his own money will help solve the case.
“Ultimately, every time I come here it hurts,” said owner Chris Welsh. “We didn’t deserve this, we didn’t nothing to nobody.”
The ATF has confirmed the investigation is ongoing, but they haven’t revealed much more.
“What they have told me and a lot of it they’ve withheld a lot of the information the fire started outside here on the outside of the building,” Welsh said. “Evidently, something was thrown something happened the fire gets up here and travels through the rest of the bar.”
The damage is extensive and unfortunately the full scope remains unknown. What is certain is how much the business means to the people of the community.
“They’re definitely taking the entire roof off the building and they’re gutting the entire inside of this bar top to bottom,” Welsh said.
The staff presented Walsh with a plaque for his leadership during this difficult time.
He posted the photo along with an announcement that he would be adding $10,000 of his own money to the existing $5,000 reward offered by the feds for information that leads to an arrest.
“Now and days it takes it probably takes a little more money maybe to make somebody talk,” he said.
Which Welsh said isn’t without some level of irony.
“This was a big family, this was not just about money and business,” Welsh said.
Next year Coconut Charlie’s will celebrate it’s ten year anniversary, the owners said they hope to be well back on their feet by then.
It took more than 70 firefighters two hours to put out the fire at the bar.