A couple of Domino's pizza store managers in Florida took a rivalry with a nearby Papa John's pizza too far, police say. They have both been charged with arson against the competitor's restaurant in an effort to eliminate the competition and boost sales.
The Lake City Reporter states that 21-year-old Bryan David Sullivan and 23-year-old Sean Everett Davidson were arrested late last week in connection to the October 20 fire that completely destroyed the Papa John's location. The two men face charges of felony arson.
The men originally had concocted an incendiary device made of common household items, but chose not to use it to start the fire. Instead, they used some sort of unspecified accelerant to ignite the flames which caused the fire to the restaurant. Davidson is said to have suffered burns to his arms when the accelerant ignited prematurely.
Jacob Wilkes, owner of the Papa John's franchise, had opened that location just 3 months earlier. According to First Coast News, Wilkes had pulled money together with two of his friends to buy the franchise. He is now delivering pizzas in Orlando until the store can be rebuilt.
Domino's corporate spokesperson, Tim McIntyre, released a statement saying:
"We are as shocked as anyone. This incident is the result of individuals acting independently. ... Domino's Pizza has nothing but the greatest respect for the Papa John's brand."