Queen Sheba Reopens after Someone Set Fire to the Beloved Broadway Restaurant

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SACRAMENTO -- Contractors worked all weekend to get the outside of Queen Sheba ready for customers.

Chowing down on her favorite meal, Jaeda Barnes couldn’t be happier that Queen Sheba was back open Monday.

“I’m here like, honestly, three or four times a week,” Barnes said.

The treasured Sacramento restaurant was forced to shut down after investigators say someone intentionally set it on fire last week.

“That really hurt my heart,” Barnes told FOX40.

Newly released surveillance footage shows the morning of June 24. A suspect walks across Broadway and toward the main entrance of Queen Sheba. Shortly after, the suspect runs away as smoke billows from the restaurant.

“I was just thinking about it, why?” said owner Zion Taddese. “Even the investigator kept asking me, ‘Think about who would do such a thing.’ I thought about it and I could not come up with anything.”

Taddese still couldn’t believe someone would intentionally start a fire at her restaurant, but she was trying to focus on the future. She wanted to reopen to the public just one week after the fire.

“Do what we do every day, serve people!” Taddese said.

The fire badly damaged the outside of her building but contractors were able to make temporary repairs over the weekend. Remarkably, the flames didn’t reach inside.

“I realized we were saved by God,” Taddese told FOX40. "All of this was (shielded), nothing happened to it.”

Taddese said she knows there’s still work to be done to get her restaurant back to where it was but she’s determined. She said she plans to have more repairs done to the outside but wanted to reopen for her customers as soon as possible

“Even though they tried to bring it down, they actually lifted us up more,” she said. “We just want to focus on that and focus on the people who supported us.”

Her customers have her back.

“No one deserves that,” Barnes said. “That really makes me mad that someone would do that. I hope that they catch him immediately.”

Investigators are searching for any witnesses or anyone who can point them to the suspect. If you have any information, call the Sacramento Fire Department.

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