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Cause of fire at Cafe G may hinge on reluctant witness

JACKSON, Wyo. – Investigators say they are not ready to close the case on a structure fire at Café Genevieve last summer until a “key witness” agrees to come forward.

The fire discovered on July 2, 2019, at 2:54 a.m. was quickly extinguished by Jackson Hole Fire/EMS responders but not before extensive damage was done to the building. Café Genevieve has remain closed for business ever since.

A police spokesman announced today that a joint investigation into the cause of the fire conducted by members of the Jackson Police Department, JH Fire Department, Wyoming State Fire Marshall’s office, and the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has turned up no conclusive evidence as to how the fire started. DCI Arson Investigations Team and the State Fire Marshall are declaring the cause “undetermined” at this point in the investigative process, meaning they cannot determine if the fire was human-caused or otherwise, based upon the physical evidence alone.

Numerous witnesses were interviewed but one critical eyewitness has yet to cooperate with investigators. This case will remain an active and open investigation until such time as the last remaining witness can be interviewed to determine if this individual can provide critical information in the case or not. Jackson Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Roger Schultz would not identify that person.

“The next steps are we wait, and the case remains open indefinitely unless or until we interview this key witness,” Schultz said. “We can’t force them to come forward.”

Anyone with information related to the fire is asked to contact Detective Rob Andazola of the Jackson Police Department at (307) 733-1430.  Anonymous tips can also be left at Jackson Hole Crime Stoppers at (307) 733-5148.

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