Police are now saying that a fire that seriously damaged a downtown Williamston restaurant is arson.
The fire at the Williamston Bucket was spotted around 7:30 Sunday morning by a woman living next door, who heard the business's fire alarm.
Williamston's fire chief tells News 10 the fire began in the front of the restaurant. The blaze caused serious damage to the first floor, but firefighters were able to keep it from spreading to the second floor or to adjoining buildings. Although the damage is extensive, News 10 is told it is repairable.
While the investigation continues, the exact nature of the arson is not being made public. The state fire marshall and Williamston police questioned people throughout the day, but no arrests have been made. Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call the Williamston Police at 517-655-4222, or call the Michigan Arson Prevention Committee 1-800-44-ARSON (anonymous). There is a standard $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in arson cases.
This is the second fire at the Bucket within three years. The tavern was rebuilt following a February 23, 2006 fire that started in the kitchen.