Words: Alastair James; pictures: Pexels
A gay bar in New York was the victim of a suspected arson attack over the weekend and is appealing for information.
Rash on Myrtle Avenue, which only opened five months ago, posted on Instagram following the attack which took place on Sunday (3 April) night.
Emergency services have confirmed that two people were injured in the incident which happened when a man entered the bar, poured gasoline on the floor, and lit a match.
"This cruel act of violence"
In their Instagram statement on Tuesday 5 April Rash thanked people for supporting them following the attack.
"Last night before the party started, someone came into our bar, poured gasoline on the floor causing an explosion that set the bar in flames. He was wearing a dark hoodie and a backpack and immediately ran from the scene. Everyone inside made it out, but two people were brought to the hospital and are in stable condition."
"We still don’t know what to make of this cruel act of violence," the statement goes on to say. "In only five short months we were privileged to become home to such a talented and vital community of artists.
"It breaks our hearts that anyone would seek to threaten that for any reason."
View this post on Instagram
It says the suspect hasn't been identified and neither has the motive and appeals for anyone with any information to come forward.
A Gofundme page has been launched to support the bar and the staff who Rash says "will be out of work for the foreseeable future" and for repairs. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than $47,000 has been raised.
"We love you, and we will come back from this," the statement closes.
The New York Police Department has told The Advocate that investigations are ongoing.
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