Possible arson fire guts hookah lounge


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Jill Galus

Posted on November 14, 2013 at 6:49 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 10:40 AM

Map: 15820 N. 35th Avenue

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PHOENIX -- Investigators believe the fire that gutted a Phoenix hookah lounge early Thursday morning might have been deliberately set.

It happened at about 2 a.m. in a strip mall at 35th Avenue and Greenway. The lounge was closed and nobody was inside at the time.

Cell phone video showed flames shooting from the building that houses Club Cloud N9NE.

"It was out of control," witness Sabrina Caprio said. "There were flames spewing out of the top. When they opened up the door, it just came just rushing out. It was crazy." 

According to the owner, some windows had been broken, making him suspect that somebody had broken in.

While the restaurant next door was damaged by smoke, no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, but investigators are calling it suspicious. They are, however, considering all possibilities.

"We could find out that hey, it was an electrical fire that's been smoldering for six or seven hours and just kind of reached an ignition point," Phoenix fire Capt. Jonathan Jacobs told 3TV's Jill Galus.

According to the Club Cloud N9NE Facebook page, the club opened in March 2012. The bar is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays.