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Fire captain on suspected Queen Sheba arson: ‘It was a definite criminal act’

Land Park’s Queen Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine catches fire in possible arson

Queen Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine, a traditional restaurant that has been a Land Park fixture for 15 years, suffered a fire on June 24, 2019, in a possible arson.
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Queen Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine, a traditional restaurant that has been a Land Park fixture for 15 years, suffered a fire on June 24, 2019, in a possible arson.

Officials with the Sacramento Fire Department confirmed the Monday morning fire at Queen Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine is being investigated as arson Tuesday.

The restaurant, located at 1704 Broadway in Land Park, caught fire around 4:30 a.m. and owner Zion Taddese was told by an investigator that nearby surveillance cameras showed someone intentionally lighting the fire near the entryway.

Fire department Captain Keith Wade said investigators have a video but are not releasing it or sharing information as it is part of an ongoing investigation. He confirmed, however, the fire is being investigated as arson.

“It was a definite criminal act that took place there,” Wade said. “Someone had criminal intent.”

He said if the investigation runs out of leads and starts to go cold, the department may release the video to get public assistance.

Taddese wasn’t sure why someone targeted her restaurant, but speculated that it could have been a hate crime.

Queen Sheba has insurance, Taddese said, and she expects it will reopen soon. A GoFundMe for the restaurant has been started to assist with repairs.

The crowdfunding campaign generated more than $4,000 in less than 24 hours as of Tuesday morning and was trending on GoFundMe’s site.

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