New York

Mother Is 4th to Die in July Fire Allegedly Set by Disgruntled House Guest in Queens

Her death has been ruled a homicide; her father and daughter were also killed

What to Know

  • A fourth person has died after a fire, ruled an arson, tore through a Queens house last month; she was the mother of a child who passed
  • Also killed, the woman's 70-year-old father, who lived in the home; her 10-month-old baby was fighting for his life with severe burns
  • The 23-year-old house guest thought to have started the fire also died

A fourth person has died in last month's fire in Queens -- a blaze investigators have said was intentionally set, authorities said Thursday.

Elizabeth Rodriguez, 35, died Tuesday of injuries she suffered in the July 10 blaze on 93rd Street. Her death has been ruled a homicide. Investigators had said she suffered burns to 80 percent of her body. 

Still fighting for his life is her 10-month-old son, who had burns to 98 percent of his body, authorities said in a briefing last month. Rodriguez's 6-year-old daughter and her 70-year-old father, who lived in the home, both died at the scene of the blaze. Also killed: A 23-year-old guest investigators say set it. 

The mother and daughter who died had been visiting from the Dominican Republic, along with the badly injured baby, a source said. Fire marshals have said the house fire was a work of an arson and that "ignitable liquid was used an an accelerant."

A source familiar with the case told News 4 witnesses said the 23-year-old house guest had been acting erratically the day before and poured gasoline on the floor before lighting the place on fire. 

The homeowner, who was not harmed, later expressed great regret at letting him stay with them after he got out of the hospital.

"We tried to help people but don’t help anyone. We tried help this kid. This kid asked me for help ... he was in the hospital and asked if he could stay in my house. He burned the house down when I asked him to leave," the homeowner said.

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