An investigation of the fire at the Chickasha Sam’s Southern Eatery last year has led to the arrest of the restaurant’s former manager. 

According to court documents, surveillance footage showed Nidah Nazih Al Ghazawneh  return to the restaurant alone after closing just after 8 p.m. on Sept. 20. 

The video showed Ghazawneh re-enter the kitchen and turn the burner dials of the deep fryer appliances. One deep fryer burner was partially filled with cooking oil. The video then showed Ghazawneh abruptly leave the premises, according to the affidavit. 

The Chickasha Fire Department responded to Sam’s Southern Eatery on S. 4th St. a few minutes later. The fire resulted in a total loss, according to a report from the Oklahoma State Fire Marshal’s Office. 

While no injuries were reported, a structure beam failed, which could have endangered the firefighters who were inside the building, the report said. 

Ghazawneh was arrested on March 30 and transported to the Grady County Jail on charges of arson in the second degree and life endangerment by act of arson. 

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