Reward offered to help catch Parma Heights City Hall arsonist

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PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio- A reward is now being offered for information leading to the arrest of the arsonist, who set a blaze at Parma Heights City Hall that destroyed the office of Mayor Michael Byrne.

The blaze was discovered early last Wednesday morning by a police officer on patrol.

An investigation has revealed that the perpetrator smashed out a window, poured accelerator inside and then set the blaze.

Mayor Byrne told Fox 8, "it has been unsettling, there's no doubt about it, and not only to me, but the employees as well as the residents. They've taken it as an attack on them and the city as a whole."

The Parma Heights Police Department is now trying to determine if fire was a random act, or if the arsonist was trying to send a message to the mayor. "We have a mayor's court, and has there been a problem in mayor's court, and then we have some issues coming up with council and so forth, has there been any disgruntled residents?" said Mayor Byrne.

The smoke and fire damage are so extensive that it could take up to three months before city hall re-opens.

City operations have been moved to other facilities. Mayor Byrne says he will not allow the attack on city hall to change the way he does his job, but admits he is concerned about the safety of his family. "There's always going to disagreements in government, that's just part of how we operate, but to take it to this level…it is rare," said Byrne.

Anyone with information about the arson is asked to call Parma Heights Police or the State Fire Marshal’s Office.