Reports: Central MN man charged with burning down his own restaurant


The former owner of a central Minnesota restaurant has been charged with burning down the building.

The Grand Forks Herald says David Galbraith – who's currently 26-years-old – had been a co-owner of Blue Smoke BBQ in Alexandria in 2013.

That's when he offered to pay Derrick Bradley – a manager at the time – to burn it down so that Galbraith could collect insurance proceeds, according to the criminal complaint.

Several sources say the restaurant was not doing well at the time. The Herald reported that employees there were being given bad checks.

So Bradley took the offer and started a fire.

According to the Forum, Galbraith collected more than $266,000 from that.

However, Galbraith reportedly didn't follow through and give Bradley the money he promised. So Bradley came forward and explained what happened to law enforcement.

"Without Bradley's assistance, the Blue Smoke BBQ fire would have forever been considered accidental," Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson told the Forum.

For that reason, Bradley will not face any criminal charges.

Galbraith faces charges of conspiring to commit arson in the first degree, theft by swindle and insurance fraud.

The BBQ spot used to be located on 3rd Avenue in Alexandria. But the Voice of Alexandria says the burned building was torn down in 2014.

Next Up