Fire at Sapulpa restaurant ruled arson

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Reported by: Farron Salley
Updated: 12/18/2013 5:21 pm Published: 12/18/2013 12:02 pm

Fire investigators say an early-morning fire that shut down a popular restaurant was arson.

Flames could be seen at Pablo's Mexican Restaurant in Sapulpa shortly after 5 Tuesday morning.

The fire marshal determined just before noon on Tuesday that arson caused the early-morning fire.

Now, he's recruiting help from the Sapulpa Fire Department and ATF to figure out who started the fire.

"It was just… a lot of…. I couldn't believe this happened," said Mark Mortazavi, a part owner of the restaurant.

He watched crews clean up the damage in shock, "It gutted the restaurant pretty much completely," he said.

And when the smoke cleared, investigators searched through the remains.

That's when Fire Marshal Chad Tanner said that the fire was intentionally set.

Canyon, the ATF canine, was able to sniff out accelerants on the scene. Those elements will be sent to a lab for further results.

Pablo Astencia, an owner of the restaurant, declined an on-camera interview but said the owners are still optimistic.

Tanner said the fire started in the dining area and investigators said it will be months before this place can open.

Investigators sifted through those charred remains and the entire parking lot is blocked off.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

From Sapulpa - 12/20/2013 9:11 AM
2 Votes
Nikki123...I pity your ignorance! Merry Christmas to you!

Nikki123 - 12/19/2013 3:45 PM
0 Votes
From Sapulpa... You couldn't be any farther from the truth which is why I feel pity for you and I now know that you truly are the ignorant person I thought you were from your first initial statement in this comment section of this article. Good bless and shall all the families in need find Their way in this devastating event that has been thrusted upon them. Sending much love to those in this hard time and lots of love to Pablo, Dunia & their babies!! :-)

From Sapulpa - 12/19/2013 8:24 AM
2 Votes
Mark is a crook and last I knew he had felony charges against him for smuggling dope into the Creek County Jail. Nikki123 is a friend or family member of his or her panty's wouldn't be up her crack! The man is a crook and unfortunately Pablo's family and employees are his newest victims. It is a sad situation!

Nikki123 - 12/19/2013 7:05 AM
0 Votes
I stand by my comment and will continue to pray for the families who are going to suffer from the loss at hand. Some people just don't know how to see the sad side of situations and they immediately want to point a finger and judge. I don't know the man you're speaking of but I do know Pablo and his family verywell and they have been through a lot! So negative comments are no help to the situation at hand for this family, their workers and their families. The most important thing is that these people are able to rebuild their lives and quickly find a new way to support their families in such a hard time. Don't judge the situation unless you know the facts and can back your statement up. Allegations are not the truth they are a question of fault and a question of a situation that no one knows but the person who committed the crime. Some people are so cold hearted! Think about if that was your business and you had to face this situation and people started calling you names, judging your situation negatively and being rude. It does not help the situation for anyone to point fingers regardless of how you "feel." Wow... Some peole are so ignorant to the bigger picture of supporting others in need and would rather immediately point fingers. Sad...

Marksacrook - 12/18/2013 7:21 PM
2 Votes
And he lives right across the street so wouldn't be that hard to give dope money to one of his buddies to burn it like they burned his. Hopefully the insurance and ATF investigators will get his ass this time. If the were smart the would look at his known friends and also his brother who is very good at fire from what I hear

Marksacrook - 12/18/2013 7:19 PM
2 Votes
Mr. Dope fiend mortazavi burning restaurants is his number one deal now he got away with his first one so now why not burn the second one just weeks before his is scheduled to open. Only this time the bomb sniffing dogs were brought out so not as easy for him. When he burned his restaurant and home he has already torn half his home down that's what he forgets to mention. Anyone who supports this high as a kite business owner is dumb and only saying that sapulpa is okay with drug use. They show video of him the night his restaurant burned down and you can tell he's high as a kite. Do not trust this man as far as you can throw him. Making people believe he's down on his luck such b.s.! What a loser.

bobby j howell - 12/18/2013 5:40 PM
2 Votes
What the heck,sounds like bills stackin up losin money keepn the doors open so just burn the place and close it and collect insurance,that's 2 places they may have an other one here in sapulpa.

From Sapulpa - 12/18/2013 3:40 PM
2 Votes
Arson is Arson! It it sad that people like you defend people who set fires! Fact is fact! This is the second business this man owns, right across street from each other, that both have now suspciously burned. I don't feel for Mark Mortazovi at all. I feel for Pablo and his employees who now have no pay check the week before Christmas. The employees who now have to join the unemployement ranks because "someone" (not say Mark, but again, awful suspcious) was selfish and chose to set the business on fire! Maybe you should get a life Nikki123!

Nikki123 - 12/18/2013 2:15 PM
1 Vote
Funny how someone like yourself could immediately find the negative in this event so close to Christmas and that families rely on their jobs to take care of their loved ones. Those families are going to suffer due to this terrible event and all you can do is be unsupportive, rude and an absolute and complete downer! Maybe you should find something else to do with your life than be negative. Maybe finding your own life would be a start.

From Sapulpa - 12/18/2013 12:43 PM
2 Votes
Funny this is the second business Mark Mortazovi has owned in Sapulpa, the other right across the street at Salena's Steak House that have mysteriously caught fire and gutted.
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