Watch dramatic escape: Molotov cocktails hurled into Brooklyn deli, amid NYC firefighter shortage

A bizarre incident occurred on Sunday when a man began tossing “Molotov cocktails,” crude makeshift incendiary bombs, into a deli in Brooklyn.

Joel Mangel, 38, was arrested by fire marshals responding to the scene for allegedly using the “cocktails” against the deli on Nostrand Avenue, in Brooklyn, New York. The marshals were on the scene within 3 minutes, reported Fox News, and were able to rapidly contain the resulting fire and arrest Mangel, due to New York law designating fire marshals as full officers of the peace with the power to make arrests.

One person was reported as suffering non-life-threatening injuries but other than that, nobody was hurt, thankfully. While the deli was damaged, the blaze had been brought under control before serious danger to the building developed.

Speaking to the public via Facebook, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro gave the following statement:

“Fortunately, there was no loss of life here. The investigative work from the Explosives and Arson Task Force comprised of our Fire Marshals, the NYPD, and ATF, led to the timely arrest of this suspect who threatened the safety of our communities by using such a cruel and destructive device. FDNY will continue to work alongside local, state and federal partners to bring to justice those who use fire as a weapon against New Yorkers.”


The Facebook post contained several videos of the attack taken from security camera footage:

Mangal was charged with arson, assault, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal mischief. No alleged motive or explanation for why he tried to firebomb a deli has been made public at the time of writing.

Twitter was on the scene with bafflement at the strange occurrence, and was quick to assign blame for how such an odd attack happened:

The term “Molotov cocktail” refers to crude bombs made by means of bottles of alcohol with cloth stuffed into the opening, which is then lit and tossed at the target, causing the bottle to shatter, and the flame from the burning cloth then spreads via the alcohol.

The name comes as a sarcastic, pejorative reference to then-foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov of the Soviet Union, who claimed that the bombs the USSR was dropping on Finland in the 1939-40 Winter War were actually humanitarian packages containing food and other supplies for the poor Finnish masses. The poorly equipped but tough Finnish army made extensive use of the improvised explosives from the vodka bottles they did have in abundance.


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