Uptown restaurant set on fire

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Uptown restaurant set on fire

The Flaming Torch, an uptown restaurant owned by an Iranian family, was set on fire Sunday night.

NOPD is currently investigating the fire as possible arson but said in a statement that there is not currently any reason to believe that the nationality of the owner played a role in the incident.

The restaurant’s owner, Zohreh Khalegi, reported seeing surveillance footage of a masked man pouring liquid on the floor of the restaurant’s dining room and kitchen around 8:20 p.m. from her second-floor office in the restaurant. After seeing smoke on the second floor, Khalegi exited the building through a door in the roof and dialed 911.

The incident occurred two days after President Trump signed an executive order that prohibits citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days. Khalegi and her deceased husband were both born in Iran, one of the countries included in the travel ban.

Khalegi has lived in New Orleans as a U.S. citizen for 27 years and has been operating The Flaming Torch since 2004.

The restaurant will be closed indefinitely as investigations continue.

Fundraising efforts for the Khalegi family and The Flaming Torch can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/flamingtorcharsonrelief.