BROOKLYN, NY – A New York landlord, accused of setting fire to a building while his tenants were inside, has been arrested a month after the alleged incident, authorities reported on Sunday. Rafiqul Islam is facing charges for allegedly igniting a fire on the stairs of a Brooklyn residence on September 26, as stated by the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY).
According to FDNY officials, Islam’s anger stemmed from his second-floor tenants ceasing rent payments and refusing to vacate the property. Shockingly, it is alleged that Islam set the fire while two adults and six children were present inside the home. Fortunately, all eight individuals managed to escape the blaze without harm.
In the lead-up to the fire, Islam purportedly issued threats to disconnect the tenants’ gas and electricity services. He also menaced to set the dwelling ablaze if the rent arrears persisted, as confirmed by officials.
Investigators unearthed crucial evidence, including video footage of a masked and hooded individual entering and exiting the premises before the 911 call. This video evidence eventually led to the identification of Islam as the masked individual. The FDNY stated, “Marshals spent four weeks conducting an extensive video canvas to verify the suspect’s identity before finally finding an image of Islam with his hood and mask down.”
On October 26, Islam was taken into custody and is now facing multiple charges, including eight counts of attempted murder, assault, and arson.