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Owner Says Suspect Was Caught Setting Fire To L.I. Tanning Salon

Suffolk County Police Cruiser

FILE – Suffolk County police cruiser (file/credit: Mike Xirinachs/WCBS 880)

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SELDEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police were searching Saturday for a suspect in the fire that gutted a tanning salon in Selden, Long Island, early on Christmas Day.

In an incident that was reportedly caught on surveillance video, the suspect was shown using a hammer to punch a hole in the window of Sky Tan, climbing inside, and dousing the tanning beds with gasoline, 1010 WINS’ Eileen Lehpamer reported.

“He had a trail that led up to the door, lit it like a fuse, and the whole thing just blew up right in his face,” said owner John Rose.

Rose said he believes a competitor could be responsible for the fire set just before 4 a.m. Wednesday.

The tanning salon, at 1198 Middle Country Rd. in Selden, was completely gutted. The adjacent Cella Bagels shop was also damaged, Rose said.

But Rose said the fire will not shut the salon down.

“This place will be rebuilt faster than anybody can imagine,” Rose said.

In a Facebook message Wednesday, the salon said it would rebuild, “but we ask our customers to stay positive, give us (their) prayers, and cooperate with us.” The salon said anyone holding a tanning package would be contacted personally.

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