Fairfax City police yesterday termed suspicious the $1 million blaze that destroyed a popular Lee Highway nightspot early Tuesday.
Officials declined to say whether signs of arson had been found amid the ruins of Bachelors Two, the restaurant and bar where a three-alarm fire broke out about 3 a.m. Tuesday.
An official of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, asked about the possible use of an incendiary device in the blaze, said, "We investigate on that premise." The ATF has sent a team of experts to the scene under provisions of the federal Explosive Control Act.
Fairfax City Police Capt. Robert Russell classified the blaze as being of "suspicious origin because of the intensity of the fire." He said the first police officer to arrive at the scene found the building's back door open with no sign of forced entry, although employes of Bachelors Two told police they had locked the building at about 2 a.m.
The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board confirmed that five days before the fire, an ABC hearing officer ordered the restaurant's mixed beverage license revoked effective March 26. The hearing officer, Robert N. Swinson, found in February that Bachelors Two took in more receipts from liquor sales than it did from the sale of food, a violation of state law, an ABC spokesman said.