Man Accused of Setting Fire That Injured 40 People

Monday, Mar 14, 2011  |  Updated 5:00 PM EDT
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40 Injured In Brooklyn Fire

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40 Injured In Brooklyn Fire

A quick-moving blaze in a Brooklyn apartment building Sunday injured 40 people, four of them critically, fire officials said. NBC New York spoke with residents as they began to pick up the pieces. Katherine Creag reports.
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Fire marshals have arrested a man accused of setting a fire in a Brooklyn apartment building that injured 40 people.

The fire department said Chiu Tsang has been arrested on charges of arson.

They say he set the blaze in the first floor entranceway. The alleged motive was unclear. He doesn't live in the building.

A phone listing at his address was not available, and it was not clear whether he had an attorney.

The blaze at the four-story building broke out around 5 a.m. Sunday, and was brought under control about two and a half hours later.

The fire department says 28 people were injured, four of them with life-threatening injuries.

A dozen firefighters were also injured in the blaze, but their injuries were not life threatening.

Dozens of residents, mostly Chinese immigrants, smelled the smoke and ran for their lives from the burning building in Sunset Park.

Firefighters saved others screaming for help with ladder rescues after flames erupted. The fire gutted the interior of the four-story brick building on 61st Street, officials said.

Jin Yang and his wife, Gue Luo, said they were lucky to escape.

“I smelled the smoke from the stairs and then woke up the family,” Luo said through an interpreter.

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