Officials investigating arson at Bellevue restaurant - WSMV Channel 4

Officials investigating arson at Bellevue restaurant

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Fire investigators said they believe someone used gasoline to start the blaze. (WSMV) Fire investigators said they believe someone used gasoline to start the blaze. (WSMV)
The fire started early Monday morning off Highway 100. (WSMV) The fire started early Monday morning off Highway 100. (WSMV)
BELLEVUE, TN (WSMV) -

An early morning fire at a Japanese restaurant in Bellevue is now being called arson.

Firefighters said they could smell gasoline as soon as they arrived at the Kyoto restaurant off Highway 100.

Investigators determined there were seven different areas throughout the restaurant where a fire had been started. 

The sprinkler system triggered an alarm and automatically called the fire department around 4:30 a.m. Monday. By the time crews got here, the sprinklers had already extinguished the fire. 

Officials said the restaurant's cash register was gone and the safe had been broken into.

Commander William Swann with the Nashville Fire Department said there's factors about this case that make it bizarre.

"The thing that was very suspicious for us is that it was locked all the way around, and when our firefighters forced their way in immediately, they saw the the fire was put out, but they could smell the substance and immediately called the fire investigators," Swann said.

The family-owned business had reportedly been open for about nine years.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the Tennessee Arson Hotline at 1-800-762-3017. Officials are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. 

Stay with Channel 4 and WSMV.com for updates on this story.

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