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Beefy King set to reopen Wednesday after arson fire

Restaurant has to replace entire inventory

ORLANDO, Fla. – Beefy King is scheduled to reopen Wednesday, about a week after police say a man intentionally set the iconic restaurant on fire.

The fire started in the back of the restaurant on Nov. 12. Restaurant officials initially planned to reopen on Tuesday but had to push it back a day since all the inventory needed to be restocked.

“It was terrifying. I just couldn’t believe I was walking up and seeing police tape and the fire vehicles and everything,” Beefy King co-owner Shannon Woodrow said.

After the fire broke started, Orlando police arrested John Huff late Tuesday on charges of arson and criminal mischief. According to officers, photos and surveillance show footage of Huff at the scene.

“It was a senseless act. It was somebody we had no contact with," Beefy King co-owner Roland Smith said. "It wasn’t like an upset customer or an ex-employee or anything like that. It was just senseless.”

The fire did not cause extensive damages.

Smith said crews have been working to restore the inside of the restaurant from painting, repairing ceilings and replacing insulation.

“Things that we looked at for years saying ‘we need to get at this and get it done.’ Well, now we had to get at this and get it done just to open the doors again," Smith said.

Beefy King should be open for business Wednesday morning, Smith said.

News 6 reporter Mark Lehman interviews Roland Smith, co-owner of Beefy King, a day ahead of the restaurant reopening.