Fire on First Floor @CitizenApp
2407 19th St Yesterday 1:59:34 PM EDT
Sept. 16, 2020 By Allie Griffin
An Astoria man was arrested after his home erupted in flames Tuesday and investigators found suspicious bomb-making materials in the rubble.
Police arrested 37-year-old Marak Squires and charged him with one count of reckless endangerment.
Squires’ home on 19th Street across from Astoria Park was engulfed in flames at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Firefighters put out the fire and EMS took him to an area hospital for burned hands, as well as for observation.
The NYPD, FBI and the joint terrorism task force are now investigating suspicious materials they found inside Squires’ rented home following the fire.
Investigators discovered a number of chemicals, packages and books on explosives in the debris, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter terrorism John Miller said.
“The chemicals separately are what they are, but taken together they can assemble an explosive device,” Miller said at a press conference last night. “There were books about military explosives, booby traps and other things.”
Authorities didn’t find an assembled bomb or completed explosive device; however the materials taken together warrant further investigation, Miller added.
On Tuesday night, police advised residents to avoid the area near Astoria Park while the bomb squad investigated and ensured it was safe to return.
Due to a police emergency please avoid Astoria Park and the surrounding streets.
— NYPD 114th Precinct (@NYPD114Pct) September 16, 2020