Cops have made an arrest in the massive seven-alarm fire that broke out inside the parking garage of the Kings Plaza Shopping Center during the morning hours of Monday, September 17, injuring 28, including six civilians and 22 firefighters.
Twenty-three-year-old Flatlands resident Avon Stephens was arrested by cops the same night, just hours after surveillance video of a person of interest was released to the media by the NYPD, and charged with arson.
According to authorities, at around 8:30 a.m. the fire started on the second floor of the lot, affecting two of the floors in the garage after multiple vehicles stored by a local car dealer caught fire.
“The individual wanted for questioning has been apprehended. Thank you SRG@NYPDSpecialops for keen observation skills and all first responders @FDNY and our Arson & Explosion team #NYPD,” tweeted NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro was on the scene as the fire was brought under control earlier today.
“Units responded and found there to be multiple cars being stored here by a local car dealer, as many as 120,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro during a conference outside of the mall. “We are not sure yet how many of them burned, but many of these cars were involved in this fire, creating a huge amount of black smoke confronting our people. Eventually we transmitted seven alarms which brought 250-300 of our members to the scene.” Nigro said that, at the time the press conference was held, the blaze had been “virtually extinguished.”
Nigro also said that FDNY personnel were checking for any sign of structural damage to the garage. Engineers from the city’s Department of Buildings may be brought in if further assessment as to the stability of the structure is necessary, Nigro said.
The injuries sustained are not considered life threatening or critical. All victims are listed as stable.