Landlord Allegedly Set Residence On Fire Because Tenants Stopped Paying Rent, Authorities Say

Law enforcement has arrested a New York City landlord on suspicion of arson in his home, which they say stemmed from a grudge over a nonpaying tenant, authorities announced Friday.

A fire marshal with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) said that a Muslim man set fire to the interior stairs of his Brooklyn home because he was angry that the tenant on the second floor had stopped paying rent and refused to move out. As a result of the investigation, the suspect, Rafiqul Islam, was arrested. House, FDNY tweeted. Two adults and six children reportedly escaped.

The alleged arson occurred on September 26th. CBS New York reported. “When the fire first broke out, people assumed it was him. Reports say he usually just walks around and goes from house to house in the houses he owns. But we’re just shocked that he was arrested,” a neighbor told CBS New York.

The family living on the second floor was trapped and had to flee to the roof. “Six children and their mothers and fathers were on the roof, throwing their children and saying, ‘Take me, take me!'” said Shatfiqur Islam, a resident. CBS New York, news video footage showed. The parents jumped from the roof, while FDNY rescued the other two children, the report said.

“Right away the whole house was covered in smoke… it was really bad,” neighbor Sahil Uddin told CBS New York. (Related: Louisiana man charged with arson that killed 3 children)

CBS New York reported that 60 firefighters and emergency personnel were on the scene and had the fire extinguished after about an hour. The Red Cross provided assistance to affected families. Seven people suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital.

It took FDNY security officers four weeks to finally discover the “Muslim statue with its hood and mask pulled down.” FDNY tweeted separately.. Islam faces eight charges, including attempted murder, assault and arson, according to the FDNY.

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