Apartment Explosion Arrest

Monday, October 17, 2011 - 2:23pm

Suspect arrested in Roxbury, Massachusetts apartment explosion.

A man was under arrest Monday morning following a massive fire at an apartment building in Roxbury.

Police say he set off the explosion that sparked that fire and left about a dozen people injured.

Firefighters had their hands full battling the six-alarm blaze on Wardman Road; upwards of 130 firefighters were called to the scene as flames continued to shoot from the building hours after it broke out.

Lieutenant Glenn McGilfrey made one of the many dramatic rescues at the scene after a mother dropped her young son from a third-story window, making a life-or-death decision.

“She’s hanging on inside the window so she doesn’t fall out, and he was petrified as to if he was gonna fall, so thankfully we got there in time to get underneath him and catch him,” McGilfrey said.

Twelve people were taken to area hospitals, including two firefighters and one police officer, mostly treated for minor injuries.

Investigators say not long after they arrived on the scene, a man suffering from burns arrived at Boston Medical Center, admitting he started the fire.

“Individual looks like he might have disabled the gas on their stove or one of their gas items and maybe lit a fire as gas was escaping from the pipe,” one police official said.

Neighbors described a loud explosion.

“A big boom,” one man said. “It just sounded like a booming sound and then that’s when I started hearing the fire department, the police department - came outside, next thing I know I saw big flames coming out.”

As many as 30 or 40 apartments were said to be damaged or destroyed in the fire. Those displaced by the fire were brought to the Tobin Community center.

The suspect was charged with arson of a dwelling and multiple counts of attempted murder. Damage to the building was said to be about $3 million


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