ONE DEAD, SIX INJURED IN DEADLY APARTMENT FIRE IN MASSACHUSETTS. TEEN, 20-YEAR-OLD SUSPECTED OF MURDER AND ARSON

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Mar. 16 2021, Published 10:06 a.m. ET

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A 77-year-old died in a Massachusetts apartment fire and six other people were hurt, according to authorities.

Police say a 16-year-old and a 20-year-old are responsible for the murder and starting the fire. 

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The fire happened on Feb. 10 in Lowell. Police and fire responded to a 3-alarm fire that extended to two neighboring buildings. The State Fire Marshal’s office determined that the fire was intentionally set by using an open flame and combustibles.

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Surveillance footage was collected from the area that showed Julian Boykins and Alexander Gaye arriving at the apartment building together, authorities said. They entered the back entrance before the building became engulfed in flames.

Later, the two men left the scene in a small four-door sedan.

Third-floor resident Em Chak, 77, died in the fire. It also injured three other tenants, two Lowell firefighters and one police officer. Fifty people were also displaced. 

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Gaye, the third suspect arrested in this case, faces charges of murder, arson of a dwelling, three counts of armed assault to murder, injury to a firefighter, intimidation of a witness and conspiracy.

Boykins, 20, was arrested on Feb. 17 and faces the same charges.

Tanya Karadanis, 19, was arrested on March 11. She is Boykins’ girlfriend and was in communication with Boykins while he is in jail. Boykins told Karadanis to remove the SIM card from his phone and destroy it.

She attempted to destroy the SIM card, as instructed. Since doing that, she was also placed under arrest and charged with evidence tampering and conspiracy.

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