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Business owner arrested in connection to fire at West Texas Grill

Pictured is West Texas Grill in the 200 block of Houston Street. (Staff Photo)

Levelland police arrested Chandler McKay, 20, in connection to a fire early Wednesday morning at West Texas Grill in Levelland.

Levelland Police Chief Albert Garcia identified McKay as the business owner and said he was arrested Wednesday afternoon as the result of an investigation into the fire at the local business.

Garcia said around 3 a.m. Wednesday, a Levelland police officer observed the restaurant was on fire. The officer contacted dispatch and the Levelland Fire Department, along with Covenant Levelland EMS, responded to the scene. Garcia said the building was fully involved as the department worked to contain the blaze.

Garcia said there were several indications that someone had been around the building prior to the ignition of the blaze. Around 3:25 a.m., police received a call regarding a subject in the 200 block of Avenue E who appeared to have severe burns. An officer, along with EMS, responded to the location and the man told police he and his business partner had been at the building when it caught fire. The man was transported to UMC in Lubbock and is in critical condition, Garcia said. He has not been identified.

‘During the course of the investigation, we were led to believe that the fire was ignited as the result of a robbery that had gone wrong,’ Garcia said. 

Garcia said as the investigation continued, police located the second subject, McKay, who was also identified as the business owner. Detectives with the Criminal Investigations Division of the Levelland Police Department were contacted and interviewed McKay. 

Garcia said detectives found several discrepancies in the story provided by McKay and the individual who was transported to UMC for treatment. Garcia said as investigators continued to interview McKay, he advised police that he and the injured individual had ignited the fire themselves. He was arrested and transported to the Hockley County Jail for the offense arson causing bodily injury or death. As of Wednesday evening his bond had not been set.

Garcia said the investigation is ongoing and is now being led by the State Fire Marshal and the Levelland Fire Marshal offices.

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