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Oney's Restaurant and Lounge Fire Determined Arson
Sheriff Tom Bergin
Detective Mike Smith
Clatsop County Sheriff's Office
Office: (503) 325-8635

The investigation into Tuesday night's fire that destroyed Oney's Restaurant and Lounge on Highway 26 east of Seaside has determined it to be an arson-cause fire. Information regarding a possible reward by the Oregon Arson Awards Fund is made available to help in this investigation.

On May 6, 2008 at approximately 10:47 p.m. fire personnel from Elsie Vinemaple, Vernonia, Banks, Seaside, Gearhart, Hamlet, and Mist-Birkenfeld departments responded to the fire at 43128 Highway 26. The approximate 8500 square foot building originally constructed in 1927 was a total loss with fire damage estimated in excess of $770,000.
Investigators from Oregon State Police Arson & Explosives Section, Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office, Elsie Vinemaple Fire Department, Clatsop County Fire Investigation Team, and Clatsop County Sheriff's Office conducted an initial fire investigation that led to the determination the fire origin was on an exterior wall and was arson-caused.

Any tips related to this fire investigation can be called into the Oregon Arson Hotline at 800-452-7888, a toll-free statewide hotline to encourage citizens to provided information (anonymous if requested) on arson crimes, that may lead to the arrest and conviction of arsonists.
The lead investigator on this case is Clatsop County Sheriff's Office Detective Mike Smith.

The Oregon Council Against Arson, in partnership with the NW Insurance Council and the Oregon Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI), have a $5,000 Arson Awards Fund designed to encourage citizens to step forward and help identify arsonists. According to the IAAI, only 17 percent of all arson investigations result in convictions. Tips from citizens can make the difference between catching an arsonist and that arsonist from roaming the streets and starting more fires.

Credible information from citizens leading to an arrest or conviction of arsonists is considered for nomination for an award from the fund. The Arson Awards Committee reviews nominations and determine an appropriate monetary award.
More information regarding the Oregon Arson Award System is available on the Oregon State Police web site at the following link:
And, on the IAAI website at: http://www.or-iaai-net.OCAAf.htm.