(Scroll down for video) A man was arrested on charges of attempted murder after allegedly burning down 8 houses, prosecutors in New York said.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced that a Woodhaven, Queens, man has been charged with attempted murder, arson and other charges for allegedly setting fire to the house in which he lived because the owners had just ordered him to vacate the premises.
The flames quickly spread to seven attached houses and forced people to flee for their lives.
District Attorney Brown said: “The defendant is charged with setting a fire that could have killed numerous people and did take the lives of two dogs, all because the defendant was allegedly angry about being evicted from his apartment. Arson is a serious crime and the defendant now faces spending a considerable amount of time in prison.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Luis Lopez, 31, of 91-21 90 Street in the Woodhaven section of Queens. Lopez faces up to 25 years in prison.
The defendant was told that he was to vacate the premises where he’d been living. About ten minutes later, the owner and her boyfriend smelled smoke.
When the couple attempted to get out of their basement apartment, the door was blocked from the other side. It took several attempts before the door opened and they fled.
On the way out, the pair saw smoke and an orange glow emanating from the first floor bedroom where Lopez lived. According to the complaint, the fire spread from 91-21 90th
Street to seven attached row houses.
It took more than 150 firefighters to bring the four-alarm blaze under control. Two firefighters sustained injuries, as well as six residents of the buildings.
Two dogs perished in the fire.