Man Arrested in Fatal Five-Alarm NYC Apartment Fire

One person was killed in a five-alarm apartment fire Thursday in the Soho section of Manhattan.

A 45-year-old man is in custody on suspicion of intentionally starting the fire, according to an Associated Press report ( Witnesses saw the suspect start the fire in a second floor hallway at about 6:40 p.m. after a domestic dispute.

An off-duty firefighter from Los Angeles who was dining in the area spotted the flames and ran over to the building, where he was confronted by the suspect. The suspect also fought with a police officer and New York City firefighters who were trying to enter the burning building.

Approximately 200 firefighters responded to the fire, which quickly spread to the upper floors and through the roof. Fire Department of New York Chief of Operations James Esposito said firefighters had to use the rear fire escape and portable ladders because the heavy fire had burned away the stairways.

The fire completely gutted the inside of the building and at injured least nine people, including seven firefighters.

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