Police: Fire at Flea Market Café Possibly Arson

IMG_2673Stephen Rex Brown The scene in the aftermath of the blaze at the Flea Market Café yesterday.

Monday’s blaze that left the Flea Market Café a charred mess is being investigated as an arson, a police spokesman confirmed today.

“The fire was deemed incendiary by the FDNY fire marshals,” the police spokesman said.

Moments after the lunchtime fire was under control, onlookers were gossiping that something shady had occurred. The blog Neither More Nor Less noted that an NYPD crime scene unit was at the site until around midnight.

A witness at Nino’s Pizzeria next door told the Local he had seen the owner of the eatery trying to put out a stack of burning napkins moments before the fire became out of control. The employee was going into further detail, but was abruptly cut off by a woman who he said was the wife of the owner. Investigators at the scene were also seen examining closely three containers of what looked to be flammable liquids.

Stephen Rex Brown The containers that garnered attention from investigators.

A woman who answered the phone at the home of Ray Gilles, the owner of the Flea Market Café, said she did not want to talk and hung up the phone.

A spokesman for the fire department said he could not comment until the fire marshals had completed the investigation.