A Queens man has been charged with reckless endangerment after bomb-making materials were discovered inside his home just hours after the building caught fire.
Marak Squires, 37, was arrested and taken to a Manhattan hospital late Tuesday after the suspicious items were found at the two-story building on 19th Street in Astoria where he lives.
Police described Squires, who was filmed being taken into custody without a shirt on, as a ‘distraught individual’ and was taken to the hospital because of his ’emotional state’.
The FBI has since launched an investigation after the stash of bomb-making materials were found soon after the blaze at the home was extinguished on Tuesday afternoon.
The items were discovered when fire officials and the owner of the building were inspecting the damage to the property.
A shirtless Marak Squires, 37, was arrested and taken to a Manhattan hospital late Tuesday after the suspicious items were found at the two-story building on 19th Street in Astoria where he lives
The FBI has since launched an investigation after the stash of bomb-making materials were found soon after the blaze at the home was extinguished on Tuesday afternoon
The NYPD bomb squad was called to Astoria, Queens, Tuesday night after reports that ‘serious bomb-making materials’ were discovered by the owner of the property where a fire broke out earlier in the day
Fire marshals found a supply of chemicals and ‘a number of books and manuals’ that led them to summon the NYPD bomb squad.
No ‘assembled’ device was found at the home.
Footage broadcast by Pix11 showed the shirtless man being taken away after he greeted firefighters in an ‘argumentative’ manner with burns on his hands.
NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism John Miller said in a press conference Tuesday night that chemicals found inside the home could be combined to make an explosive.
‘The chemicals separately are what they are, but taken together they can assemble an explosive device,’ Miller said.
‘There were books about military explosives, booby traps and other things.’
Mark Torre of the NYPD bomb squad described them as ‘precursor materials’ that could be made into a dangerous device.
Law enforcement officials investigate outside the house on Tuesday night
Federal agents joined the NYPD in investigating the apparent bomb-making materials
Nearby buildings were evacuated as authorities investigated the fire and reports of the suspicious items
The man is known to police but it is too early to say whether he could be linked to any organization, Miller said.
The owner of the home told Pix11 that the FDNY pulled a black crate into the front yard of the building as they had fought back the blaze. The owner called the FBI after fuses and powder were found inside.
Sources told the New York Post that wick cords, used for fuses, and possibly ammonium nitrate were in the crate.
A neighbor told the Post that the man taken to hospital is a divorced father whose ‘shades were always closed’.
‘Upon further investigation by FDNY Marshals, there were materials found that included a number of chemicals, a number of packages, and a number of books and manuals that caused them to call NYPD for further investigation,’ a statement said.
‘There was no assembled device found. There was no completed improvised explosive device in the residence. The investigation remains ongoing.’
ABC News reported one injury in the earlier fire. The person was taken to Cornell Medical Center.
Nearby buildings were evacuated on Tuesday and fire officials were on standby as the investigation continued.
The NYPD 114th precinct asked everyone to avoid Astoria Park and the surrounding streets.
Sniffer dogs were on the scene after the potential bomb-making equipment was found
The owner of the property called the NYPD and FBI after the crate was discovered
One person was injured in the blaze earlier in the day and taken to hospital
A law enforcement official at the scene where bomb-making materials were found