A New York landlord named Rafiqul Islam, who was arrested on October 25th, faces charges of eight attempted murders and charges of second-degree arson, reckless endangerment, and criminal mischief, per records acquired by People via the NYPD. The incident that took place on 26th September and landed 66-year-old Islam in jail relates to him setting fire to the second-floor apartment in the Brooklyn building because he was “angry” that the tenants stopped paying rent. This account was acquired by People from the Friday statement of the New York Fire Department.
The same statement reads that the six adults and two children were able to escape the fire set by Islam to an interior staircase, thereby blocking their exit route. According to PIX11, who covered the news (via People), Islam had allegedly threatened the family to cut off electricity and gas and ultimately set the house on fire on account of their failure to pay rent.
People reported that on 27th September, a day after Islam ignited the fire, he filed a civil suit against Andriana Edwards, claiming that she owed him $26,592. The FDNY statement elucidated that Edwards was the occupant of the second floor of the building and, hence, ruled out as the victim of the fire.
October 26th was the date when Edwards’ lawyer had filed a counterclaim statement to Islam’s civil suit alleging that she and her family were “driven from the subject premises by a fire,” which rendered the unit “uninhabitable.” The very counterclaim alleges that the residence was infested with mice and roaches, had lead in a wall, had windows that would not close, and had water damage, among a slew of other conditions that “constitutes a breach of warranty of habitability.”
Evidence that Islam was the culprit who set the respective place on fire was acquired by a statement from CBS New York that said they acquired the needed evidence from security surveillance footage of the area of impact. The statement read, “When the fire first started people speculated it was him,” one neighbor told the outlet. “I just see him usually just walking around, going house to house to the houses that he owns, but I’m just shocked that he got arrested.”