Miami Scooter Shop Consumed by Suspicious Fire

Authorities are asking the public to look at surveillance video of the moments before the blaze at Astro Scooters

By Myriam Masihy
|  Friday, Dec 28, 2012  |  Updated 10:51 PM EDT
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What investigators are calling a suspicious fire quickly spread at Astro Scooters on NE 79th Street Thursday night. Employee Roman Nuñez, owner Walter Presic and Miami's assistant fire chief, Joseph Zahralban, discussed the blaze.

What investigators are calling a suspicious fire quickly spread at Astro Scooters on NE 79th Street Thursday night. Employee Roman Nuñez, owner Walter Presic and Miami's assistant fire chief, Joseph Zahralban, discussed the blaze.

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Authorities released surveillance video of the moments before a family-owned Miami scooter shop was consumed by a blaze, hoping they’ll get tips that will lead them to the person responsible.

The video shows a vehicle pull up a dark alley. Its occupants then light something up before speeding away from Astro Scooters, on the 600 block of NE 79th St.

“So I said to myself, man, somebody lit this on fire 'cause there's no way that this could've happened that fast,” employee Roman Nuñez said.

He was working Thursday night when the fire broke out at the store. The blaze quickly spread, fueled by the gasoline inside the scooters and other equipment being repaired at the shop.

“You could feel the heat all the way down to the front – even melted some of the plastic all the way into the front,” Roman said.

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On Friday investigators sifted through the mangled mess to try and determine the cause of the fire that is being called suspicious. They are also asking for help locating the person responsible for the blaze.

“We're asking the public to look at that video and if they can identify anybody, any persons of interest, to please call in and let us know,” said Joseph Zahralban, Miami’s assistant fire chief.

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The owner of the store is also reaching out to the community after losing about $250,000 in the fire. Walter Presic said for the last 30 years he has put every dime into his business, which wasn't insured.

“I hope somebody will come and help me out a little. I need help,” he said, crying. “It's not easy, but I hope somebody will watch and help me out.”

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