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Queer-Friendly NYC Nightclub Set On Fire

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday April 6, 2022

Patrons at a nightclub in the NYC neighborhood of Bushwick were left shaken up after someone attempted to set fire to club while they were inside.

As reported by ABC 7, the popular queer-friendly club spot RASH NYC is now a crime scene after a man wearing a dark hoodie walked in and doused the floor with gasoline.

The gasoline reportedly ignited, causing an explosion and flames, according to a statement posted to the club's Instagram page.

"All of a sudden, out of nowhere I hear this explosion sound and then people running out screaming," said Claire Bendiner, one of the owners of RASH. "I looked through a side door and immediately saw huge flames going up to the ceiling, I was in disbelief for a moment."

The bar was badly burned and gutted by flames, causing two customers to be hospitalized and the apartments above the venue to be evacuated.

Being a welcoming space for LGBTQ people, the owners said they are not convinced that the attack was random and feel they might have been a target of a hate crime.

"We're like a very queer space so yeah there's a possibility for that ... but we really don't know," Bendiner said. "I've gotten very little sleep and I'm extremely upset about it -- traumatized."

Police are still investigating the incident and do have surveillance camera video of the suspect.

Read the official statement from RASH about the incident below.