By JULIE E. GREENE and BRENDAN KIRBY
An early-morning fire Saturday that destroyed the popular House of Kobe Japanese restaurant on Dual Highway was deliberately set, the Hagerstown City Fire Marshal's Office said Wednesday.
The fire was set in the rear of the 757 Dual Highway restaurant, causing extensive damage to the building, fire officials said.
Fire officials had no damage estimate Wednesday.
"We're investigating everything at this point," said Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker.
No witnesses had come forward, Hawbaker said.
The restaurant's owner, Massy Hirai, said Wednesday that he was shocked and angered to learn the blaze was intentionally set.
"I was so disappointed," he said. "I was surprised and shocked. It makes me more angry I hope very soon, the fire marshal will catch the guy."