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Queens Chronicle

Fire sale of another kind at Queens malls

Man arrested for blazes at shopping centers

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Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014 5:24 pm | Updated: 5:36 pm, Mon Feb 24, 2014.

A 23-year-old man is in custody after small fires broke out at both the Queens Center and Rego Center malls within minutes of each other on Monday afternoon, police said.

Firefighters were called to the first fire, which broke out inside Macy's, at the Queens Center mall in Elmhurst, around 3:15 p.m., and authorities had the minor blaze under control 20 minutes later, according to the FDNY.

It was a clothing rack that was set on fire, authorities said.

Around 3:30 p.m., officials responded to three more small fires inside the Rego Center mall in Rego Park, with the blazes believed to be located in the Burlington Coat Factory, Sears and Old Navy stores. The fires produced enough smoke and heat to set off the sprinkler systems, but were contained quickly, according to authorities.

There shopping centers were not evacuated and there were no injuries, the FDNY said.

Charges are pending against the man in custody, police said.

The malls did not immediately respond to the Chronicle's request for comment.

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