According to police, Sedgrick Jason, 30, is charged with assault and reckless endangerment.READ MORE: Manhattan, Brooklyn Residents Sue City To Stop Permanent Outdoor Dining
Jason lives in the building on East 95th Street near Clarkson Avenue.
The flames were so intense in the early Tuesday morning fire, some residents escaped by jumping out of a window.
A father and his family were among those who barely escaped.
“We smelled the fire. I opened the bedroom door, I come outside and I see that room was dark and smoky. I picked up my kids and come from the front,” said Kaid Kassim.
He says the only way out of his unit was through his second story window. His wife and children frantically jumped out one by one.
In hazy surveillance video, you can see a gaggle of neighbors running over to the building, appearing to help someone who fell onto the ground.READ MORE: 'Phantom Of The Opera,' Broadway's Longest Running Show, Resumes Performances
“The stairs and the main door were already burned. You have to come out the window. We have only one chance to come out,” Kassim said.
It took more than 100 firefighters about an hour to bring the flames under control. The FDNY brought out their canine unit to sniff for accelerants, trying to find the cause of the fire, which left seven people injured, including one in critical condition.
Kassim says his children, ranging from 3 to 22, are among those hospitalized.
“The 7 -year-old was burned, his hands, his arms,” Kassim said.
Kassim also owned the convenience store, Food Corp, located on the ground level of the building. The fire not only robbed the family of their home – but also their livelihood. Neighbors are devastated for them and other residents who now have no place to live.
“The store actually is the heart of the community because they are the only one that is open 24/7,” said Chris Graves.MORE NEWS: Rev. Jesse Jackson Celebrates 80th Birthday In Harlem
CBS2’s Christina Fan contributed to this report.