FBI Releases Photos of Vehicle Of Interest in Coral Gables Travel Agency Fire

A fire marshal report indicates that the April 27 was deliberately set, the FBI said.

By Lisa Orkin Emmanuel and Julia Bagg
|  Thursday, Jun 7, 2012  |  Updated 8:23 PM EDT
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The FBI was seeking the public's help on Thursday to identify a vehicle of interest related to a fire at a Coral Gables travel agency. Company owner Vivian Mannerud told NBC 6 she is

The FBI was seeking the public's help on Thursday to identify a vehicle of interest related to a fire at a Coral Gables travel agency. Company owner Vivian Mannerud told NBC 6 she is "ecstatic" to see the photos.

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Fire Engulfs Coral Gables Business

Authorities are investigating a fire in a Coral Gables office building that specializes in plane charters to Cuba. Vivian Mannerud, who owns Airline Brokers Company Inc., speculated that the fire's cause is related to the controversy surrounding the international flights.
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The FBI was seeking the public's help on Thursday to identify a vehicle of interest related to a fire at a Coral Gables travel agency.

A fire marshal report indicates that the April 27 fire at Airline Brokers Company Inc., located at 815 Ponce De Leon Boulevard was deliberately set, the FBI said.

The FBI released photos of the vehicle and asked anyone with information to call them at 305-944-9101, or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms at 305-597-4800, or Coral Gables Fire at 305-471-TIPS, or the State Fire Marshal at 877-662-7766.

The blaze at the company began after a piece of pavement was thrown through the office window with an incendiary device, according to a report by The Miami Herald.

The company, which has operated for almost 30 years, charters seven flights to Cuba each week, primarily out of Miami International Airport. It had just transported hundreds of South Florida Catholics to see Pope Benedict XVI in Cuba.

Fire officials found a disposable lighter outside the company’s office, the Herald said.

Company owner Vivian Mannerud told NBC 6 is now operating her company from an undisclosed location for safety reasons. She said she "ecstatic" to see the photos.

"Somebody knows something and it is in your best interest to come forward now," she said.

She speculated that someone upset about her company chartering flights to Cuba may be responsible.

"I'm an American," she said. "I won't change."

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