7thton (7thton) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
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Arson at Jamie Oliver's restaurant in Melbourne?



Arson investigators have questioned a restaurant manager over a fire that destroyed the headquarters of British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's Australian eatery, police said Saturday.

The office was destroyed Thursday night by a blaze that caused up to 1 million Australian dollars (US$1 million) damage to a night club and office block in downtown Melbourne, Metropolitan Fire Brigade Commander Lou Mele said.

Oliver's nearby "Fifteen" restaurant was not damaged and continues to trade although reservation records have been lost, his Fifteen Foundation said in a statement.

Victoria state police spokeswoman Mia Paterson said a 32-year-old man was questioned late Friday by arson detectives who searched his home with a warrant.

"He was questioned and released pending further inquiries," Paterson said. His identity has not been released.

The Foundation, which was also headquartered in the gutted office, said he was not employed as part of Oliver's program to train disadvantaged young people.

"The employee is not a trainee and occupied a senior management position at the restaurant and was an external appointment," the statement said. It is not clear whether he remains an employee.

The restaurant was the subject of a reality TV program when it opened in September, 2006. It is the first "Fifteen" restaurant opened by Oliver outside Europe.

The statement said 20 young recruits will start the restaurant's training program next week.

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