NRFD-NRPD Arson Fire Investigation at Church-Division Garage (photo credit Gary Marx)

NOT ARSON: Car Explosion and Fire in Downtown New Rochelle Parking Lot Not Arson

Written By: Robert Cox


NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Investigators from the New Rochelle Police Department General Investigations Unit and the New Rochelle Fire Department Arson Investigation Unit have determined that an explosion and car fire that damaged five vehicles last night in downtown New Rochelle not not arson.

New Rochelle Police and Fire Fighters were called to the Church-Division garage last night about 11:25 p.m. after neighbors reported 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 fire was initially treated as suspicious and a manhunt undertaken to locate a suspect who was beleived to have fled the area on foot. 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 description of a suspect — male/hispanic, 5′ 9″, curly hair, wearing a white shirt, and black pants — was put out by police.

Despite the manhant and suspicious nature of the fire the incident was determined not to be a criminal act.