FRESNO, California (KFSN) --A Tower District landmark now scarred by fire, for former employees the boarded up Livingstone's restaurant is a reminder of a devastating morning.
"To come and look at it and see it gated up-- it's a nightmare kind of," said Kortney Seiler, former bartender.
Now in jail is suspect Justin Silva who is accused of setting the place on fire days before Christmas and letting it burn.
"We've established a significant and incriminating motive," said Don Macalpine, Deputy Fire Marshall.
The exact motive investigators won't reveal but an arrest warrant suggests he was upset about getting beat up at the bar one year ago.
But a longtime friend of the suspect, who wants to stay anonymous, says lately Silva has not been in the right state of mind.
"Car accident, losing his job, he wasn't sleeping properly."
His friend said it all started a few months ago when Silva was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
"It was a horse shoe shaped cut on the side of his head. They had to get really deep in there and take the whole tumor out after he got off chemotherapy. He just kind of had a very childlike mentality after that."
Silva's friend said after surgery the suspect started acting bizarre and erratically; even giving money away to a stranger asking for gas.
"He gave the guy gas and then he gave the guy $200 and said Merry Christmas."
But a few days before Christmas-- with nowhere to work-- one displaced Livingstone's employee needed all the help she could get.
"I actually unwrapped some Christmas presents and texted friends and family and said sorry my income is currently paused," said Seiler.
Now this former bartender said she's getting closure with Silva in custody and just wants her old workplace back up and running.