NRFD Puts War on Car Fire (photo credit @eyeonnewroc)

Car Explodes in Downtown New Rochelle Parking Lot, Four Vehicles Damaged in Resulting Car Fire, Suspect Sought

Written By: Robert Cox


NEW ROCHELLE, NY — New Rochelle Police, New Rochelle Firefighters and a Westchester County Police Aviation Unit responded to multiple calls of an explosion in the Church-Division garage. Calls came in at about 11:25 p.m. Thursday night reporting a loud noise and a large flash resulting in a car fire that damaged multiple vehicles.

The incident was captured on police surviellance video. In the video, a figure is seen approaching one of the vehicles, manipulating something and then a large flash of light. The figure was in close proximity to the explosion and may have been injured as a result of the explosion and fire. Area hospitals were checked for burn victims. Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital came back negative.

One car was fully enguled in flames when firefighters arrived on scene. The fire was declared under control at 11:50 p.m.

Four cars were damaged including a black 2008 Acura RDX which was burned out.

New Rochelle police called in Westcheter County Police Department Aviation Unit and K-9 units were deployed to search for a suspect seen fleeing the area.

A suspect was observed fleeing the scene. The initial discription was of a male/hispanic, 5′ 9″, curly hair, wearing a white shirt, and black pants. The person was observed walking fast on Church Street towards Pelham Road. Two minutes later a police office reported seeing a person matching the description of the suspect wearing jeans and a white long-sleeve shirt walking on Pelham Road towards Echo Avenue. Police and the WCPD Aviation Unit also searched the area around Trinity Elementary School. The suspect was last seen in that area.

The entire event was captured on a Police Surveillance Video Camera.

NRPD GIU Detectives and NRFD Arson investigators were called to the scene at about midnight. The incident is being treated as arson.

The owners of the Black Acura were contacted and came to the scene. They told police they parked the car at about 3:30 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. They stated they had no idea what happened to the car or why.

A female witness provided information on the suspect to NRPD.

The NRFD Arson investigator arrived on scene at about 12:30 p.m.