Officials Suspect Arson in Fatal Flushing Fire

NY 1 - October 25, 2011

A fatal fire in Flushing, Queens, on October 23, 2010, appeared to be a case of murder and arson, according to officials.

Police said two men got into an argument over immigration papers around at 2:30 p.m. inside a private immigration office located at 136-79 Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing.

Officials said 22-year-old Zheng Zhang of Queens slashed Chang Xin Hu, 42, in the throat, then started the fire. Zhang was also severely burned and later died at the hospital.

Sources said he may have been trying to commit suicide.

Both men were discovered by firefighters after the flames were extinguished.

"I've lived here for 32 years and it's getting progressively worse and quite frankly I'm the district leader here and I hardly even come down Roosevelt anymore and I wasn't surprised today when I heard that something happened in the heart of Flushing," said one neighborhood resident.

"If there is an immigration office up there and somebody was fighting over papers, I could see how tempers would get rised on that," said another.

Fire officials said they were looking how the blaze was started.