The fire outside Duane Reade started at around midnight, and reportedly, a witness saw it a pile of debris deliberately set aflame. There were no injuries and only exterior damage.
The Roosevelt Island Daily News thanks our friend Sylvan Klein for an early tip on this story.
In the daylight, a broad scar ran up the west side of 425 Main Street. Blackened bricks reached the 7th floor, and Duane Reade boarded up several windows.
So, what happened with the fire outside Duane Reade?
First, the good news: no injuries, but rumors came in through social media, changing over time.
NYPD arrested an individual assumed associated with fire and took him to the 114th Precinct. Reliable sources, however, say the arrest was not related directly to the fire.
RIOC’s Public Safety Department was, as usual, useless in terms of information. There’s a link for incident reports on their website, but a click delivers only an error page. Although RIOC is a state agency with a well-paid communications staff, it dislikes media inquiries, and fumbles like this are common.
Other sources, though, report that an argument between a Duane Reade manager and a disgruntled ex-employee preceded the fire.
While residents speculated on culprits and causes, the question of why combustible materials pile up frequently alongside a residential tower have not been answered.
Common eyesores, stacks of cardboard boxes and packing material are common in the area.
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