Enraged over firing, man sets Hialeah remodeling business ablaze, police say

HIALEAH, Fla. – Police arrested a 57-year-old man on arson and burglary charges after they said he set a Hialeah business on fire Sunday morning.

According to an arrest report, dispatchers sent first responders to Home Improvement Solution USA Corp., located 423 W. 27th St., just after 1 a.m.

Investigators noticed “multiple points of origin,” leading to an arson investigation, police said.

“Crews were able to extinguish the fire without incident and prevent the fire from spreading to other warehouses,” the Hialeah Fire Department posted to social media.

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About an hour later, police responded to a nearby McDonald’s, located at 330 W. 29th St., regarding a man “causing a disturbance and throwing furniture around.”

At the scene, they found Jorge Alberto Molina Menendez. It’s not clear if he had already been identified as a suspect in the arson; a reported confession he made at the fast food restaurant was redacted from his arrest report.

Molina Menendez told detectives that he was “upset” with the business owner “due to treatment towards him and the abuse he claims was happening at work,” the report states.

“Mr. Molina said he used to sleep at the business due to being homeless but was told weeks ago, by (the owner), that he could no longer stay there,” officers wrote. “Mr. Molina stated the key to the business was taken from him a few days ago and he no longer had access to the business.”

Police said the business owner told officers that he had fired Molina Menendez and he was not allowed to be at the building. They said the business owner recognized Molina Menendez in CCTV footage showing the suspect holding what appeared to be a red gasoline container in his left hand.

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Molina Menendez, a Honduran national, was being held in the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on a $15,000 bond Monday morning, according to jail records.