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Suspect Indicted For Murder, Arson In Deadly SoHo Blaze

Wei Chu Hu (credit: CBS 2)

Wei Chu Hu (credit: CBS 2)


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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The man accused of starting a fatal fire in a SoHo apartment building was indicted Tuesday for murder and other charges.

Wei Chu Hu, 45, is charged with murder, arson and assault in connection with the five-alarm fire on Spring Street last month.

Police said Hu set the fire in his kitchen after getting into an argument with his wife and then tried to keep first responders from going inside.

Prosecutors said 66-year-old Renee Lea Williams died as a result of the blaze. Her body was found on the building’s fourth-floor fire escape.

“A woman died without warning as a result of the destructive, callous actions for which the defendant stands accused,” District Attorney Cy Vance said in a statement. “As a result of this fire, none of the building’s residents have been able to return to their apartments and many lost a lifetime of belongings.”

At least seven others suffered minor injuries.

Police said Hu’s wife and 13-year-old son were able to escape the fire.