Arson investigators looking into store fire in Mathis

Mathis police have confirmed that a fire that destroyed a convenience store owned by a Muslim family last month was an act of arson.

MATHIS (KIII NEWS) - Mathis police have confirmed that a fire that destroyed a convenience store owned by a Muslim family last month was an act of arson. Now they are asking State and federal agencies to help determining if it was motivated by hate.
 
Driving by the front of the building , you cannot see how badly Boo Boo's Drive Thru was damaged by the fire; but if you walk around the building you can see the extent of the damage.
 
When Mathis police and fire departments were notified in the early hours on May 23, they were able to extinguish the fire but not before it ruined most of the inside of the store.
 
Police have asked State and federal authorities to investigate the fire as a hate crime because the owner of the store is Muslim. The store owner said he had experienced threats in the past, including an alleged statement, "You are Muslim. We are going to burn your store."
 
A former employee of Boo Boo's said he remembered sometimes hearing threats.
 
"Sometimes they would threaten them but I always tell them just keep on, ignore it and just keep on working," Vincente Amador said. "And just do it like, you've always been real nice and everything. Help one another and we'll help you out. As long as you take care of the neighborhood, the neighborhood will take care of you."
 
The owner apparently did not have sufficient insurance on the store, so a GoFundMe page has been set up to help them with living expenses while the store is being repaired.

© 2017 KIII-TV


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