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Restaurant Hit by Arson Holds Fundraiser to Re-Open

A community is coming together to help a business owner whose restaurant was deliberately set on fire by arsonists Christmas Eve.

Friends, family and customers of Shorty's Cafeteria, located at 4114 NW 167th Street in Miami, gathered in the restaurant's parking lot for a fundraiser to help the owners re-open their damaged business.

Surveillance video from a gas station next door showed a white van pull up to the restaurant on Christmas Eve. Two men set fire to the building with a molotov cocktail before fleeing the scene.

"I couldn't believe it, I don't know why someone would do something like this," said customer Charlie Hermida. "This is a family place, there's never any trouble here, so to find out this happened, it's sad."

With no insurance to help with repairs, the community came together with cash to bring back the neighborhood favorite. The restaurant served food outside in the parking lot to raise money.

"Where else can we have it?" said Ana Mejia, the owner's grandmother. "People who live around here are our daily customers, they're the ones who said, 'We will be here, we're going to come help you clean up.'"

That clean-up will have to wait as fire investigators continue to process the scene.

Anyone with information about the arson is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).

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