Fire at Cuba travel agency in Coral Gables ruled arson

The Coral Gables Fire Department has officially ruled the fire that gutted a Cuba travel agency in Coral Gables to be arson.

Via the Miami Herald:

Coral Gables fire department says blaze at Cuba travel agency was arson

A fire at a company that charters flights to Cuba was sparked after a chunk of pavement was used to break open an office window and an incendiary device was then tossed into the building, according to a Coral Gables Fire Department report.

A K-9 dog trained to detect accelerants led investigators to three separate spots where the fire at the Airline Brokers Co. began, including an area where a shattered green bottle was found, the report added.

Investigators also found a disposable lighter in a doorway outside the southeast corner of the company’s ground-floor office at 815 Ponce De Leon Blvd., according to the report.

The report makes no mention of possible suspects in the April 27 pre-dawn blaze. That same day, the El Nuevo Herald newspaper quoted law enforcement sources as saying the fire was “deliberate.”

Airline Brokers owner Vivian Mannerud, who has been in the Cuba charter business on and off for decades, would not comment. Her flights to the island have continued.

The report said the cause of the fire “is determined to be the use of an incendiary device containing a flammable accelerant projected into the office space following the breaching of the external south wall window closest to the east wall.”

It noted that a piece of “what appeared to be mostly asphalt and roadway surface” was found in the office, “indicating the potential use of a projectile to breach a building window.”

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