Cops: Argument May Have Been Over Missing Cellphone; 5 Injured

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 21-year-old woman was in custody Friday after she allegedly sparked a fire which critically injured a man and hurt four others in East Harlem, police said.

Manuela Lopez reportedly argued with the other tenants in the apartment on the eighth floor of the DeWitt-Clinton Houses, 1010 WINS Carol D’Auria reported.

Lopez has been charged with first-degree assault, second-degree larceny, five counts of reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, endangerment of a child, and four counts of third-degree assault.

The dispute may have started because her cellphone was missing and she believed one of the tenants had taken it, police said.

She allegedly used a lit cigarette to ignite a pile of clothing in the apartment, authorities said. Gas may have been used as an accelerant.

The fire broke out just before 1:15 a.m. at the building on Lexington Ave. at 110th Street. Police believe the apartment was being illegally subletted.

The man whose name was on the lease was critically injured while three others were also hurt, including one child.

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