Arson victim: Pride flag went missing at same time as fire

Blackstone Valley

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) — Police have released video of a person of interest in an unsolved month-old arson case, while the victim of the fire is sharing his story of the night his home burned.

Kevin Kazarian woke up in the early hours of June 19 to the crackling sounds of the fire and an orange glow, quickly realizing his house was on fire. He escaped with his life and his pet bird Kelly, watching firefighters douse the flames of his Central Street five-bedroom house.

Kazarian soon realized something was missing; just hours earlier his rainbow pride flag was hanging from a flagpole to the left of his front door. The flag was gone.

“I noticed that the flag I had displayed on the house was missing, and right then it hit me,” Kazarian said in an interview with Eyewitness News on Tuesday. “I had this lump in my throat, and the bottom of my heart.”

The flames never reached the place where the flag hung, so it wasn’t burned in the fire. Kazarian had hung it up a few weeks earlier in honor of Pride Month, a celebration of the LGBT community. He had also participated in a flag-raising at City Hall, and a photo of the event was posted online.

He said he last saw his flag hanging at his front door around 10 p.m. on the 18th, less than four hours before the fire broke out.

“I just don’t know how someone could have that much hatred in them to do something like that,” Kazarian said.

He said police found his flagpole at the church across the street, but never recovered the pride flag itself.

The State Fire Marshal ruled the fire arson a few days after Kazarian’s house burned, and police have been searching for the suspect ever since. The video released Tuesday by Central Falls Police shows a person walking near the home at 1:36 a.m., about 14 minutes before the house erupted in flames.

While the individual’s head is not shown in the video, police said they are hoping someone may recognize the person’s clothes or gait.

Police said they have not yet determined a motive for the arson.

Those with information are encouraged to contact Central Falls police at (401) 727-7411 or the State Fire Marshals TIPS line at (401) 383-7723. Individuals who want to remain anonymous can call the TIPS line at (401) 727-7420.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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