New Jersey man arrested for setting fire to his Astoria hookah bar: FDNY

Photo courtesy of the FDNY

A New Jersey man was arrested and charged for allegedly setting fire to his Astoria hookah bar, aptly named Ignited Lounge, the FDNY announced on Monday.

Asif Raja, 54, was charged with arson earlier this month in Brooklyn federal court after he allegedly set fire to his lounge, located at 30-27 Steinway St., over the summer, according to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

On Aug. 4, 2020, firefighters were called to Ignited after reports of a gas order at the location were made around 10:15 p.m., the FDNY said.

When they arrived, firefighters found the lounge’s water sprinklers activated, fighting several small fires throughout the lounge, according to the authorities. FDNY members brought the incident under control without any injuries.

The fire marshals investigating the scene found the fires suspect and began an investigation in collaboration with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Video recovered from inside the restaurant allegedly shows Raja pouring a liquid over several seats and tables inside Ignited before lighting a flame and throwing it onto the substance.

“We are extremely grateful that no one was injured during this incident and for the collaboration between all the law enforcement agencies involved in bringing this individual to justice,” Nigro said.

If convicted, Raja will be sentenced at least five years to, at most, 20 years in prison.

More from Around New York