New Jersey man caught on video starting fire inside Queens restaurant: FDNY

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FDNY released surveillance video of a man seen setting fire to a Queens restaurant on Aug. 4, 2020. The man, identified as Asif Raja has been arrested.

ASTORIA, Queens — Fire Marshals arrested a New Jersey man caught on video starting a fire inside a Queens restaurant over the summer.

Asif Raja, 54, faces a charge of arson for allegedly using a flammable liquid to set multiple fires in a Steinway Street restaurant in Astoria on Aug. 4, 2020, authorities said.

The Ignited hookah lounge is addressed to the scene of the incident, according to Google Maps.

Firefighters were called to the location for reports of a gas odor around 10:13 p.m.

The restaurant’s sprinkler activation system apparently extinguished the small separate fires throughout the restaurant, FDNY officials said.

No injuries were reported.

Fire Marshals determined the blaze to be suspicious. An investigation led to Raja’s identification and arrest.

Video surveillance released by the FDNY shows Raja pouring a flammable liquid onto several tables and chairs before lighting each one of fire. He is then seen running into the restaurant’s kitchen and turning off the light before leaving the building.

If convicted, Raja faces five to 20 years in prison.

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