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Officials investigate ‘suspicious’ fire at abandoned Concord restaurant

An abandoned restaurant building in Concord was destroyed by fire early Monday morning under what fire officials are characterizing as suspicious circumstances.

The two-story standalone structure once housed a buffet restaurant, though the business had been long closed and the building shuttered.

According to Steve Hill, a Contra Costa County Fire Protection District public information officer, the fire was first reported at 2:39 a.m. and the roof and building were already fully engaged in flames when crews arrived at the scene four minutes later. He suggested the boarded windows and doors concealed the fire activity until it was visible from the exterior.

The Con Fire incident commander called out four additional engines to employ defensive measures from above the blaze. Hill said despite difficulty gaining access to the building, crews knocked down the fire at approximately 3:47 a.m. without reports of injury or damage to nearby structures.

An inspector cleared the scene around 10 a.m. and did not find evidence of anyone inside the building. The cause of the blaze is under investigation but is considered suspicious due to its shuttered status and lack of operating utilities.

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