Brooklyn LGBTQ Bar Destroyed By Arsonist [VIDEO]

NBC New York reports:

A Brooklyn bar that was quickly becoming a mainstay for the LGBTQ+ community after being in business for just a few months is now closed after police said someone used a canister of gasoline to set it on fire.

Everything inside Bushwick’s Rash Bar was left unrecognizable and torched, after it took just 30 seconds to turn the bar into a fireball. Around 9 p.m. on Sunday, a man dressed in black strolled into the bar with a gas canister, poured some on the ground and started the fire before dashing out.

“I was standing right here actually when it happened, I had just stepped out,” said owner Claire Bendiner. “Everyone rushed out. The side door has a glass front and I looked over and saw flames to the top of ceiling. It was crazy, it happened so fast.”

ABC News York reports:

The venue was about to open for an event Sunday night when a man wearing a dark hoodie and backpack walked in and doused the floor with gasoline.

The gasoline ignited causing an explosion at the bar, according to the club’s Instagram. The bar was burned to the studs, and gutted by the flames.

Two customers were hospitalized, and the apartments upstairs had to be evacuated. The owners are worried that the incident may have a been a bias attack. “We’re like a very queer space so yeah there’s a possibility for that … but we really don’t know,” Bendiner said.

Gothamist reports:

Janus Rose, an electronic music producer who performs in the area, said the latest act felt like “a targeted attack on queer spaces.”  In a GoFundMe posted on Monday, owners of Rash said they were collecting funds to help repair the venue and pay out-of-work staff.

“We still don’t know what to make of this cruel act of violence,” the owners wrote. “In only five short months we were privileged to become home to such a talented and vital community of artists. It breaks our hearts that anyone would seek to threaten that for any reason.”