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NYC Landlord Accused of Torching Building with 6 Children Inside After Tenant Dispute Over Unpaid Rent

NYC Landlord Accused of Setting Building on Fire Over Unpaid Rent
Source: FDNY; Unsplash

Rafiqul Islam accused of setting apartment building on fire to force out tenants who were behind on their rent.

Nov. 7 2023, Published 12:29 p.m. ET

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A landlord in New York City has been arrested after he allegedly set one of his properties on fire in an attempt to force out tenants who stopped paying rent and wouldn't vacate the premises, according to authorities.

FDNY marshals recently arrested Rafiqul Islam after he allegedly started the blaze on Sept. 26 in an interior stairwell of a Brooklyn property he owns, fire officials said.

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The issue between Islam and his second-floor tenants came to a head after Islam allegedly decided to force them out of the apartment by starting the fire, investigators said.

The tenants, a family of eight — six children and two adults — were home when Islam allegedly started the fire, but all were able to escape by running onto the roof of the building, officials said.

While on the roof, the parents tossed four of their children to neighbors on the ground, AMNY reported. Firefighters carried out the other two children to safety and the parents jumped from the roof.

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The family suspected their landlord was behind the fire and allegedly set it to force them out of their home, AMNY reported.

Fire marshals said they were able to obtain surveillance footage, which allegedly shows a man in a hood and mask entering and leaving the building before the fire started.

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Detectives also went over video from cameras in the area to try to locate additional images of the hooded, masked man. They were able to locate one allegedly showing Islam with his hood and mask down, which matched the suspect, fire officials said.

Islam was arrested on Oct. 26 and charged with eight counts of attempted murder, assault and arson, according to authorities.


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