NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police have arrested the man they believe started a fire which killed a 63-year-old woman confined to a wheelchair.
Vinyl siding melted off a home dangled just above a pile of charred furniture in Queens. Right in the middle of the rubble – the upside down wheels of a wheelchair that belonged to the woman who couldn’t escape the flames.
“Even if she tried, she couldn’t make it out on her own because she was there by herself, she had no chance, very sad,” Angelica Estrada said.
Neighbors can’t bear the thought of Bibi Jasmin – who had been recovering from a stroke – helpless in her Queens Village home. She was trapped in the apartment on the first floor as fire tore through three levels late Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, as crews worked to secure the house, other tenants salvaged what they could including back to school book bags.
Shawn Rampersaed lived in the basement unit on 219th Street.
“It’s sad, really sad, and I’m mad also,” the tenant said.
Mad because this was likely a case of arson. Sources tell CBS2 former tenant Persaud Rampersaud – who was recently evicted – is accused of setting the fire with an ignitable liquid while Bibi slept.
One neighbor shared surveillance video that he says shows the suspect.
“As soon as we look outside, a whole bunch of smoke in front of our window… I called 911,” Deodat Cipriana said.
It isn’t clear where the suspect went after that but CBS2 has learned the suspect is with police now.
“This is a sad situation, I don’t know what to say, all confused right now, still trying to recover from this whole thing,” Shawn Rampersaed added.
Persaud Rampersaud has been charged with arson and murder.