Police believe Gun Club fire was set to cover up burglary
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Wisconsin Arson Insurance Council are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the Aug. 7 arson fire at The Gun Club restaurant.
People with information can call the sheriff’s office at (608) 757-7923 or the Wisconsin arson tip line at 1-800-362-3005.
TURTLE TOWNSHIP Rock County sheriff’s investigators believe The Gun Club fire might have been set to cover up a burglary and hope people can help with information about stolen money and liquor.
Money was stolen from a safe inside the business and several cases of expensive liquor were taken before the fire was set, Capt. Todd Christiansen said.
The money and liquor have not been found, and investigators hope locating the items could lead to a suspect, Christiansen said.
An accelerant believed to be gasoline was found in the dining room, office and bar area of the restaurant, according to a search warrant filed in Rock County Court. Burn patterns also were consistent with accelerant pours.
The search warrant states investigators found no sign of forced entry into the building, but Christiansen said the fire damage was so extensive that it’s difficult to know for sure.
“A lot of the evidence is destroyed,” he said.
The fire was reported at 5:13 a.m. Aug. 7. The building was destroyed. The damage was estimated at $1 million, and the fire has been declared arson.
The owners, Frank and Cindy Dajka, told investigators they left the restaurant between midnight and 12:30 a.m. and drove to their Rockton, Ill., home, the search warrant states. They said they were home until receiving a phone call about the fire.
Investigators filed the search warrant to review all calls and text messages to and from the owners’ cell phones.
Frank Dajka told a detective the restaurant’s liability insurance—not property or fire insurance—was about to expire because of missed payments, according to the search warrant.
The fire remains under investigation.