November 21st, 2012 4:59 pm | by ANDREA DAMEWOOD News | Posted In: Business, PDX News, Cops and Courts

Mack and Dubs Fire May be Arson, Hate Crime

mack and dubsMack and Dubs Excellent Fried Chicken & Waffles Wednesday afternoon - Andrea Damewood

An early morning fire did serious damage to Mack and Dubs Excellent Chicken & Waffles this morning, and police are saying it appears to be the work of an arsonist.

Police say an officer on patrol smelled smoke at 5:47 am, and found the building on fire. Crews closed a portion of Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard until the blaze was put out.

The inside is decimated, with puddles of water and two big holes broken through the roof. A worker on scene said it appeared some sort of fire starter had been thrown through the back of the building, located on MLK between Northeast Fremont and Beech. What's worse, police say there's evidence of a burglary, and they discovered graffiti that leads them to believe it is a hate crime.

William "Dub" Travis III, co-owner of the restaurant that earned rave reviews from WW, says the building is insured, and that they plan to rebuild.

Travis says the alarm company called him at 11:30 pm last night to say a sensor had been set off. But, when no more alarms were triggered, he and the alarm company assumed it was due to last night's high wind. At 6 am, his phone was ringing to let him know his business—started just this February—was on fire.

"It looks like a bomb has gone through the roof," Travis says. "It was hard for Mack and me to be in there and see all that stuff."

Their music studio, kitchen and dining room are "totally devastated," he says. All that was left in one room was the first dollar they earned in a frame, their checkbooks and a business license.

He called the term spray painted on the back wall "very derogatory," and a "vile, disrespectful thing."

Still, Travis says "something good has to come out of this. We're going to open up and be better than before," he says.

Rat the people who did this out by contacting Arson Investigator Rick McGraw at (503) 823-3797 or Detective Joe Luiz at (503) 823-3408.

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