Rome bar burnt down in fourth Centocelle fire

Fourth fire in Centocelle area of Rome.

A police investigation is underway after a bar in Rome's Centocelle suburb was burnt down in the early hours of 9 November, days after another fire destroyed La Pecora Elettrica, a nearby anti-fascist bookshop for the second time.

The fire that gutted the bar, Baraka Bistrot on Via dei Ciclamini, also appears to have been started intentionally: the shutter was forced open and police found traces of flammable liquid. This is the fourth such incident of suspected arson in the Centocelle area in recent months.

"We had closed at three o'clock in the morning and at four o'clock they called us, there was the fire", the owners told Italian news agency ANSA. "After the fire at La Pecora Elettrica we didn't see any more police, maybe they were somewhere else. Everything is destroyed here, it's a disaster," they said.

Following the fire that gutted La Pecora Elettrica, on the eve of its reopening after the last blaze in April, Rome's mayor promised more street lights in the area.

Police are working on the theory that the fires may be linked to the local drug trade, as the shop's late opening hours may have disturbed drug pushers operating in an adjacent park.

Photo Corriere della Sera