What to Know
- Evon Stephens was sentenced to five years in prison after he plead guilty to setting fire to a vehicle in the garage
- More than 100 cars were damaged in a seven-alarm inferno at the Kings Plaza parking garage
- Twenty-one people, 18 of them firefighters, were hurt
The man responsible for setting the parking garage ablaze at the Kings Plaza Shopping Center one year ago has now been sentenced.
Evon (Evan) Stephens was sentenced on Wednesday to five years in prison after he plead guilty to setting fire to a vehicle in the garage, the Department of Justice said.
Stephens sparked a fire that became a seven-arlarm inferno that shrouded the borough in choking smoke and left nearly two dozen people hurt.
Twenty-one people, 18 of them firefighters, suffered injuries not considered to be life-threatening, mostly related to smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion. Four of the victims were taken to hospitals.
Dramatic Images: Thick Black Smoke Pours From NYC Mall Parking Garage as Cars Go Up in Flames
Prosecutors charged Stephens for damaging by fire real property used in interstate and foreign commerce -- federal, officials say, because the 137 burned cars belonged to a dealership and were frequently moved between states. Seventy of the damaged cars were burned to their shells, many of them Mercedes.
The Kings Plaza Shopping Center garage holds about 4,000 spaces and fire officials said 120 cars are normally stored there by a car dealership. There were some explosions from car tires burning, but officials said there were no concerns of collapse.
The plaza was closed for two days following the fire.