Woman Mad at Her Husband for Taking Valuables Allegedly Sets Her Apartment on Fire: Neighbors

An emotionally disturbed woman allegedly set a fire at her Harlem apartment building after being released from the hospital and finding her husband had taken anything of value from the place, according to neighbors in the building. 

The woman and 15 others -- including 10 police officers and four paramedics -- were hurt in the blaze on the 14th floor of one of the Ulysses S. Grant Houses on Amsterdam Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard around 7:30 p.m., according to authorities.

Police said they were called to the scene after neighbors heard screams coming from the woman's unit. When officers arrived, they said the woman opened the door and started throwing bottles and other objects at them after a brief conversation. 

Then, police said, she closed herself in the unit. Officers at the scene called in emergency service units and the FDNY once they smelled smoke coming from the unit. 

Police then busted down the door and found the woman on the floor inside suffering from smoke inhalation and possible cardiac arrest. She was taken to Harlem Hospital in critical condition.

The others who sustained injuries were treated and released.

While neighbors said the woman set the fire, police said the cause remains under investigation. 

Neighbor Shirene Grant added that the woman had mental health issues, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

"She battled a lot of stuff," Grant said. "I just wish I would have been able to talk to her. You just go about your business, say 'hello', talk to her dog. Now, look, before Thanksgiving, and she may not make it out of the hospital."

Neighbors said the woman is well-known at the building because she has lived there for decades. 

Contact Us