Carelessly Tossed Cigarette Said to Set Two Cars Ablaze in Tribeca

Flames and heavy acrid smoke billow from burning cars in front of 79 Laight Street as firefighters spray the blaze. Photo: Donald Kent

Apr. 06, 2019

Two parked cars went up in flames in Tribeca around 6 p.m. Saturday evening, the result of what was said to be a carelessly tossed cigarette.

The cars were parked in front of 79 Laight Street when a person walking by threw a cigarette onto a pile of recycling on the sidewalk, igniting the garbage that, in turn, set the cars on fire, a resident of the building said. The blaze also scorched windows on the buildings first floor. No injuries were reported.

Asaf Bar-Lev, 47, said he was in the building’s lobby when he saw the recycling on fire and along with the building’s super and doorman attempted to put out the blaze with extinguishers. “We tried to extinguish the fire but it was too intense,” Bar-Lev said. “And then the cars caught on fire.”

Bar-Lev said surveillance video from the building shows a man, probably in his 30s, smoking a cigarette and talking on the phone before flicking the cigarette into recycling that Bar-Lev said the city had not picked up that morning.

The blaze is under investigation, the FDNY said.