Diner owner charged with arson

January 16, 2010 6:31:07 PM PST
Arson charges have been filed against the owner of a Bronx diner. Investigators say he hired someone to set the fire that destroyed his diner and two other businesses in the Norwood section last month.

The five-alarm blaze on East 204th Street was a severe economic blow to the neighborhood.

Prosecutors say 52-year old Mohammed Abdul Quadir was in debt and recently bought a half-million dollar insurance policy on the diner.

They say he hired 53-year old Christopher Gooding to set the blaze.

Gooding was arrested three weeks after the fire on arson and other charges.