Caught on camera: Calgary restaurant catches fire in surveillance footage released by police

Calgary police seek information in arson
WATCH: Calgary police have released this footage showing an individual breaking a front window, and throwing a molotov cocktail into the Lê La Vietnamese restaurant.

Calgary police have released a video that appears to show someone setting fire to a southeast restaurant.

Investigators said the fire at Lê La Vietnamese restaurant, located at 4-6624 Centre St. S.E., was set at around 4:15 a.m. on Friday, April 7.

Surveillance footage shows someone breaking the restaurant’s front window and throwing an incendiary device, believed to be a Molotov cocktail, into the eatery.

It appears the suspect’s clothing catches fire in the process.

“It appears that his clothing was on fire, but he exits the view of the video prior to putting it out, so we don’t know if he has injuries to his upper body or not but, we definitely know his clothing was on fire,” said CPS detective Wally Niewchas.

He added they’re looking for information from the public, and that hopefully someone might come forward who saw or heard something about a person with burns on their backpack, singed hair or burns to their upper body.

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Niewchas said they’re also working on some forensic avenues as part of their investigation, hoping evidence they took from the scene will give them some leads.

“At this point we don’t really have a good idea of the motive of the individual; we believe it was a targeted attack but we don’t know what the reasoning for that is,” he said.

As for the restaurant itself, Peter Le, the owner’s son, said the family is worried about the future of their establishment, and the possibility that the attack could deter customers from coming in.

‘It actually affects us financially because now people know — they ask when they come in what happened and we have to tell them the truth,” Le said. “Why lie about it? And now they’re scared to come in — they’re scared to get hurt; what [happens] if someone comes in?”
“We just don’t know why, and now we have to fix everything now. We can fix it, [but] it costs money, I understand, but now we’re scared customers won’t come back because this place is really dangerous.”

Police said the suspect was wearing dark-coloured shoes, blue jeans, possibly a plaid jacket, and was carrying a backpack. It’s believed they would have burned clothing and possibly sustained burns to their upper body.

Anyone with information on the arson is asked to call Calgary police at 403-266-1234 or contact Crime Stoppers.