Man arrested for setting fire to Manhattan outdoor dining structures: NYPD

Man arrested in Manhattan arson pattern

Surveillance video of suspect Caleb Ganzer, 35, setting fire to an outdoor dining structure at Prince Street Pizza on July 13, 2021, authorities say. (FDNY)

MANHATTAN — The FDNY announced on Wednesday that a man had been arrested for allegedly starting at least three fires on Manhattan streets since the start of the year.

Fire Marshals arrested Caleb Ganzer, 35, after outdoor dining structures and rubbish were set on fire across the borough in January, June and July, authorities said.

According to the New York Times, Ganzer is a celebrity sommelier who Food & Wine magazine even named one of the sommeliers of the year back in 2017.

“Every act of arson has the potential to spread rapidly, endangering the lives of New Yorkers and FDNY members,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro in a statement.

He said there were no injuries in the three incidents Ganzer is accused in.

Most recently, authorities said Ganzer was caught on video setting fire to an outdoor dining structure at Prince Street Pizza in the SoHo area at around 3 a.m. on July 13.

The FDNY released video of the incident, showing the man casually cross the street, raise a lighter up to the outdoor dining shed and light it on fire. The then moves to the other side of the structure and does the same thing before walking off.

Authorities believe Ganzer first struck on the night of Jan. 8, setting fire to an outdoor dining structure owned by Forsythia Restaurant on Stanton Street, in the Bowery neighborhood in Lower Manhattan.

Months later, early in the morning of June 26, officials believe Ganzer set rubbish on fire at the corner of Broome and Centre streets in Lower Manhattan.

According to the NYPD and FDNY, Ganzer was charged with two counts of arson, two counts of criminal mischief, and three counts of reckless endangerment.

Officials have not said what the man’s motive might have been for setting the fires.

Manhattan arson pattern arrest
Police booking photo of Caleb Ganzer, 35, who was arrested on July 26, 2021 in connection with three fires set on Manhattan streets in recent months, police say. (FDNY)

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