Family-owned restaurant badly damaged in arson

Family-owned restaurant badly damaged in arson »Play Video

SALEM, Ore. – The third fire in five weeks broke out at a Salem strip mall on Thursday morning and investigators said all of them were intentionally set.

The latest fire happened around 4 a.m. at the Plaza Del Sol strip mall on Portland Road NE. The two-story complex houses seven businesses.

Firefighters said a family-owned restaurant and bar called La Movida was significantly damaged in the fire.

"We've been in business for almost 20 years, our family has been doing this for years," said Ramiro Rodriguez, whose family owns La Movida. "My parents, my brothers just don't know what to make of it."

Arson investigators said security cameras captured images of two suspects. The suspects took steps to conceal their identities, although some of their clothes might help police track them down.

Investigators think the same two suspects are responsible for all three fires. The suspects used some kind of flammable liquid to start the fire.

"We don't know if it's targeted against us or if it's targeted against one of the other businesses here," Rodriguez said. "We have no clue."

"I don't know that I've had an incident where somebody's been so determined to torch a building," said Lt. Steve Birr with the Salem Police Department.

Since the building was so large, the first firefighters to arrive on Thursday morning called for additional help, according to fire department spokesman Greg Hadley.

By 5:30 a.m., Hadley said firefighters had the blaze under control and were just looking for any remaining hot spots.

Hadley said there were other fires at the same mall last month. They all started outside the building.

Investigators are still looking into the cause of those fires and will be at the mall again on Thursday during the day looking for the cause of this latest fire.

KATU's Erica Nochlin and Mike Warner contributed to this report