Person of interest sought in Meriden restaurant fire

Surveillance video image taken from outside Violi's Restaurant in Meriden, June 2, 2014.

MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Meriden Police are looking for help identifying a person of interest in a fire at Violi’s Restaurant early Monday morning.

Firefighters were called out to the restaurant, which is on Westfield Rd. on the grounds of Hunter Golf Club, around 3:00 a.m. Monday.

The building suffered extensive damage to the outside, and firefighters had to chop holes in the roof to get at hot spots because the flames got to the foam insulation in the roof.

Officials initially thought the fire may have been caused by a golf cart that was parked on the side of the building. “Golf cart’s completely destroyed,” Fire Chief Ken Morgan said in the morning. “The wiring that would charge the golf cart is completely destroyed so we are leaning our focus on that at this point in time.”

But by the afternoon, that focus had changed. Police looked at a surveillance camera recording and found a suspicious man.

Surveillance video image taken from outside Violi's Restaurant in Meriden, June 2, 2014.
Surveillance video image taken from outside Violi’s Restaurant in Meriden, June 2, 2014.

In a news release police said:

“This male could be seen carrying what may be a gas can in his hand along with another item. He is wearing a baseball style cap and glasses and can be seen holding an item up to his facial area which could possibly be a cell phone.”

Anyone who has information about the fire or who may be able to help Meriden Police with the video is asked to call detectives at (203)-630-6318.

Westfield Road was closed for a couple of hours as firefighters fought the fire. Crews from Berlin, Wallingford and South Meriden also responded to the fire.

No injuries are reported.

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