The search is on for the person who torched a popular liquor store and deli Thursday morning in the North County.
It happened just before 4:20 a.m. at Barno’s Liquor and Deli on South Santa Fe Avenue and Azalea Drive in Vista.
Incredible video shows several fires, both inside and outside the shop. A pile of debris can be seen on fire outside the store while an orange inferno burns on the inside.
A fire investigator at the scene says crews knew early on that something was off. There were several points of origin inside and outside the store suggesting someone wanted the business to burn.
"We do have a degree of suspicion,” Vista Fire Department investigator Mike McFadden. “Because of the indicators we found, we've been speaking with sheriff's deputies and they have elected to request [the] Sheriff Bomb Arson [Unit] come out and take it from here."
More than 12 hours later, the deli owners were still cleaning up. One of those owners, Mark Goros, said they are still assessing the damage. They still don’t know how much recuperating from the fire will cost.
Goros says he has no idea who would want to set his business on fire, but will soon have a major clue. He has security cameras outside his store and is eager to download the video. He’s confident the footage will lead detectives to the culprit.
Eric Reyes’ family runs an ice cream truck supplier at the same industrial park. He said he was saddened, but not shocked to learn the fire at the nearby liquor store was no accident. A rough crowd frequents the neighborhood, Reyes said.
"It doesn't surprise me considering the amount of homeless people and the amount of drug addicts that walk by around here,” Reyes said. “But it's sad to think that could happen to any one of us around this area."
Reyes’ family knows Goros. While Goros waited for power to be restored on Thursday, Reyes’ family let him borrow their large freezer.
Reyes says he hopes deputies track down the arsonist and fast.
"You never know,” Reyes said. “Someone like that could start easily [light] up an entire building complex, or even next to a gas leak. It's very dangerous. Especially around this time and considering San Diego is hot."
As of Thursday afternoon, the sheriff’s department does not have a description of the suspect. Anyone with information can call (858) 565-5200.