JAMESTOWN – A fire reportedly broke out early Thursday at Sneakers bar, located at the corner of Harrison and Institute Streets in Jamestown.
Reports on social media say the Jamestown Fire Department was called to the establishment around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, July 13. The extent of damage was reported to be confined to the lower area of the building where the bar is located, and not the apartments upstairs.
The Jamestown Police Department has not yet released any information, but the owner of the establishment, Mary Green, made a public post on Facebook later Thursday morning saying that the fire was intentionally set.
“Sneakers will be closed indefinitely due to someone breaking in and setting us on fire. Thanks to the Jamestown Fire Dept the damage was pretty much contained to the downstairs but cleanup will be quite extensive. This fire was deliberately set and came very close to killing all of us that live here. Anyone with info please get in touch with me & I will put you in touch with the investigating people.”
WRFA has reached out to the Jamestown Police Department to get a confirmation on whether or not the cause of the fire has officially been ruled as intentional and, if so, whether it would qualify as a possible hate crime because of the bar being a long-time local LGBTQ establishment.
In response, Jamestown Police Lt. Fred DeGolier said, “We are investigating this incident as a suspicious fire in culmination with a burglary. At this time there is no indicators of hate crime activity.”