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Dearborn Heights bar owner hoping surveillance video catches arsonist who set fire to his business

Posted: 10:17 PM, Jun 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-18 22:22:18-04

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Dearborn Heights Police Department needs your help finding an arsonist responsible for setting fire to a shed next to 342 Bar & Grill on Pelham Street.

The owner of the bar says the cost to repair the damages is well into the tens of thousands. Jimmy Nikou has owned 342 Bar & Grill for 15 months. He says it was his dream to own a bar. That dream took a turn when someone set fire to part of the business.

Now, Dearborn Heights police need your help finding the person responsible.

"What am I going to do, what’s going to happen," Nikou said.

He worked his whole life to finally own his own business.

"(It's) tough," Nikou said. "This is my dream that I worked hard for all my life."

Someone wanted to destroy his dream. Dearborn Heights police have released surveillance video of a white male with a backpack going into the shed beside the business and setting it on fire. It happened during the early hours of April 16.

Nikou pointed out the damage done to the outside of the building.

"What happened, it started in here and then it was just underneath that roof so the smoke and the flames went up in there into that building," Nikou explained.

He added that the damage was enormous.

"The smoke just came through the kitchen, took out the equipment, some of the fire and then inside the bars was smoke damage so we were closed to 24 days," Nikou said.

He estimates the damages to be more than $100,000, but that’s not his biggest loss. Nikou says customers come in looking for food and drinks and leave when they’re told the kitchen isn’t open, even some of his employees had to look for work elsewhere.

"They found other jobs cause it's been two months, but the two guys say they’re coming back to work," Nikou said.

He says his insurance is covering the cost of repairs. Now he’s just happy his regulars continue to come back.

"Thanks for your support, it means a lot to me and keep coming," he said.

Nikou is now planning to reopen the kitchen within the next two months.

If you know anything about this fire or recognize the suspect, you're urged to call Dearborn Heights police.