ATF offering $5,000 reward in Pa. Oriental rugs fire

MCKEES ROCKS, Pa. (AP) – The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $5,000 reward in hopes of arresting someone who set fire to a Pittsburgh-area Oriental rug business on which the words “Iran” and “terrorist” had been sprayed days before.

An ATF press release on Monday says the Oct. 12 fire at Linder’s in McKees Rocks caused nearly $2 million in damage, double the amount of earlier estimates.

The Allegheny County fire marshal and federal officials are investigating the fire as a possible hate crime because of the graffiti. The former church that burned is owned by an Iranian man who stores and shows antique and hand-woven rugs there.

Officials have said the fire started inside the business even though all the doors and windows appeared to be secure.

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AP-WF-12-03-12 1943GMT