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May 24, 2023
2 min to read

Masked Men Attack Texas Vape Shop with Firebombs

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Jim McDonald

Police and federal agents are investigating an arson attack on a Texas vape shop that badly damaged the store and threatened to kill an employee. The incident happened last Saturday evening in Galena Park, Texas.

Two masked men entered Vape House and threw firebombs that quickly engulfed the carpeted store in flames. As they left, the attackers blocked the front door and set it on fire, threatening to trap employee Merlyn Rodrigues inside. She was forced to kick the door open to avoid the flames.

"Two men walk out, and they had gloves, he took something out from his back, and he threw it with a big impact,” employee Merlyn Rodrigues told TV station FOX26. “The moment he dropped it, there was fire everywhere.”

Homemade firebombs, which are often called Molotov cocktails, are made with containers of gasoline or other flammable liquids.

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The attackers didn’t attempt to steal any products or cash.

Vape House owner Sami Durrani said he had no idea who was behind the arson attack, but believes it was targeted. Durrani said he lost more than $100,000 in products alone, and might be forced to close the business.

"It's in bad shape, you know,” Durrani told TV station KHOU-11. “It will take me a lot of money to restart this business and I don't think, right now, I can do that. All I want to know is why they did this."

The attack is being investigated by local police, along with the Harris County Fire Marshal and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Investigators are studying surveillance video that captured the incident.

Galena Park is located in Harris County, Texas, just east of Houston proper. It has a population of just under 11,000.

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Jim McDonald

Vaping since: 12 years

Favorite products:

Favorite flavors: RY4-style tobaccos, fruits

Expertise in: Political and legal challenges, tobacco control haters, moral panics

Jim McDonald

Smokers created vaping without help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and I believe vapers have the right to continue innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I’m a member of the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy

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