LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)- The Irish Rover had a close call Thursday morning after somebody driving by noticed flames coming from the restaurant's door and called 911. Crews were able to get the fire out quickly, but the cause behind it is what's more concerning for owner Michael Reidy. He said it's officially being investigated as arson.
"My security company called me at 5:45 this morning to wake me up very quickly with a cold, cold bucket of water in the face telling me that the fire brigade was at the Irish Rover,” Reidy said. "The forensic expert was here and said it was some petrol-doused rags or some accelerant that was stuffed into the mail slot and set on fire”
Luckily, there's only minimal damage. There's some shattered glass and burn marks left behind, but also bruises that are harder to see.
“To me, it's honestly a face of hate in the way that you'd want to destroy somebody's career and business. It's not a prank like thing that somebody would do,” Reidy said. “You just don't happen to walk around with a can of accelerant or rags going for coffee in the morning. There was intent to do harm.”
Irish Rover fire damage
It's the business Michael Reidy and his wife have spent a quarter of a century building. It's the spot they've poured their souls into and the place they said welcomes all and will continue to do so.
"Thank God that nobody was hurt. Thank God somebody was so kind as to alert the fire brigade to bring them here. Thank God there are so many great people out there who have responded so very kindly to us in such a wonderful way. I will never underestimate the value and the love they have shown us,” Reidy said.
Reidy said it's hard to understand what would compel somebody to do this, but he's also feeling incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from the community. He wants to get in touch with whoever called 911, as well.
"I would sincerely love to get a hold of them and thank them personally for possibly saving our business and the rest of our career,” Reidy said.
Irish Rover wasted no time in getting back to business. The restaurant opened on time for lunch Thursday. Reidy also said he's installing security cameras in case somebody tries to do this again.