COEUR d'ALENE - A popular midtown breakfast and lunch spot was the target of an arsonist sometime Sunday, reports the Coeur d'Alene Police Department.
City fire and police units responded at 4:45 a.m. to a report of a structure fire at the Breakfast Nook on Fourth Street.
Officers arrived on the scene first and made contact with the owner Paul Wiles who was opening up the business for the morning. Wiles noticed a strong odor when he opened the rear door and called 911. No one was inside the building at the time of the call.
Fire department responders discovered a strong smell of gasoline inside the structure with no visible fire. Firefighters determined that a fire had occurred earlier, sometime after the eatery closed Sunday at 2 p.m. The fire was contained to a small area at the rear service entrance causing minimal damage. Fans were used by fire department to clear the building of fumes.
Investigators discovered a gas can and matches at the scene, and learned that an undisclosed amount of cash had been taken from the business office. The burglary is believed to be related to the arson.
The incident remains under investigation.