Four Attacks Queens Firebombs
January 3, 2012 by staff
Four Attacks Queens Firebombs, Investigators at 146-62 107th Avenue, which caught fire after a Molotov ccktail was thrown. “It was a good night for the F.D.N.Y. and the people of south Jamaica,” said the official, Lt. Chris Corbin, as he stood outside the scene of one of the attacks, a private home at 146-62 107th Avenue.
No one was hurt in the four attacks, in which homemade firebombs were apparently used. In three of the four attacks, the police said, Molotov ccktails were made with Starbucks bottles.
The first attack occurred just before 8 p.m. at a bodega at 179-46 Hillside Avenue.
Ten minutes later, another crude firebomb was thrown, this time at the home at 107th Avenue, and the house caught fire.
Half an hour after that, an Islamic center at 89-89 Van Wyck Expressway was the target. The last attack occurred at a house at 88-20 170th Street, the police said.
Although the home on 107th Avenue was severely damaged by the fire, Lt. Corbin said the attacks caused little or no damage at the other three sites.
Shortly after 8 p.m., someone called 911, saying that a Molotov ccktail had been thrown at their home on 107th Avenue. The house caught fire, and it took more than 60 firefighters about 40 minutes to bring it under control.
Still, Lt. Corbin said the fire at the home “could have been a lot worse than it was. They were lucky.”
Those who lived in the home, however, had to find another place to stay as the home was boarded up on Monday and charred mattresses were strewn on the sidewalk.
“Everything’s gone. There’s nothing left,” Bernadette Jackson, who lived in a ground-floor apartment, said, pointing to her house. “We don’t know who did it. We didn’t have any problems with anybody here. It’s a mystery.”
The Islamic center, the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation, houses one of the most prominent Shiite mosques in New York. According to its Web site it offers funeral services, counseling and free SAT classes. It lists branches in several cities, including Montreal and Islamabad, Pakistan. Calls to the foundation were not returned Sunday night.
The firebomb, made with a glass Starbucks bottle, was thrown at the door of the center, possibly from a van as it drove it by, the police said. The door was blackened, but the building did not catch fire.
A similar weapon was found at the bodega, the site of the first attack, according to the police. The bomb might have been thrown from inside the store, because the counter sustained some damage, the police said.
In the fourth attack, two bottles were thrown at the house on 170th Street. A spokesman for the Fire Department said that the person who called 911 said they saw a vehicle drive by as the bottles were hurled toward their home. But the flames quickly fizzled.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg both issued statements condemning the attacks.
“Attacks such as this have no place in our open and inclusive society,” Mr. Cuomo said, “and we must do all we can to ensure New York remains a safe and tolerant place for all.”
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