Edward Garcia, 47, was charged Friday with murder and arson, police said. He is being held at Rikers Island pending a May 13 court date.
Information on Garcia's arraignment and bail was not immediately available. Online court records did not list a lawyer who could speak on his behalf. Police listed his address as a Randall's Island homeless shelter.
Nine other people were injured, including several firefighters, officials said.
The fire started around 1:30 a.m. in a first-floor apartment. People in that apartment left the door open as they fled, allowing the fire to spread and smoke to quickly fill the building, officials said.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
for more features.