Two men were arrested Tuesday on arson and reckless endangerment charges after allegedly being involved in a “tobacco treating” program that led to an explosion at a home in Hicksville, Nassau County police said.
Surender Bhatty, 63, of Carpentersville, Ill. and Davinder Singh, of Queens, will be arraigned Sept. 18 at First District Court in Hempstead after being charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and fourth-degree arson.
The two men were charged after police arrested their alleged co-conspirator on Sept. 15. That man, Dinesh Arora, 38, of Hicksville, faced a judge on Tuesday after he was booked on a first-degree reckless endangerment charge.
The three were charged after Arson Squad detectives were called to a fire at 105 Miller Road in Hicksville at 1:20 a.m. on Sept. 15. According to police, the men were in the basement of the home and conducting a “tobacco treating operation” for use in hookah pipes.
The operation involved treating the tobacco with acetone, which cops said created a “highly volatile and explosive atmosphere.” An explosion reportedly occurred during the production and packaging of the tobacco.
A small fire ensued and was extinguished by Hicksville firefighters. No injuries were reported.
Police said Bhatty and Singh had fled from the home before cops arrived on Sept. 15. They were arrested after returning to the home on Tuesday.