15-year-old girl arrested for murder in Bronx fire that killed 1

NEW YORK – A 15-year-old girl has been arrested for murder on suspicion of using an accelerant to start a fire at a Bronx boarding house that killed a stranger.

The girl had a dispute with someone who lived in the boarding house, but not with the 27-year-old man who ultimately died in the fire after it spiraled out of control, police said.

Police sources describe the suspect as a chronic fugitive who lives in Canandaigua, a town near Rochester.

The victim was identified on Sunday as Abdoukarim Sakolly. He died on the spot.

The suspect was arrested in Midtown on Saturday. She is charged with murder, assault, arson, reckless endangerment and criminal damage for the January 29 fire. Your name has not been released by the New York Police Department because you are a minor.

Police said residents of the building saw her in Midtown and contacted police.

The teenager was caught on surveillance footage as he entered the illegally converted boarding house on Evergreen Avenue near Westchester Avenue in Soundview.

She had a bottle in her hand when she entered, but exited the building without it around 1:55 p.m., surveillance footage shows. Investigators believe she used accelerant to start the fire, which ripped through the two-story house.

Footage shows her coming and going from the building, and a video shows her stuffing a white bottle under her jacket.

The flames spread to an adjacent building before more than 100 firefighters could put it out. Two men, aged 30 and 32, suffered burns and smoke inhalation but managed to escape from the burning house.

The dramatic video obtained by the Daily News shows one of those men climbing from a window onto a balcony. As smoke billows out a window, he leans back as two people help him up to the sidewalk below.

The man’s wife told the Daily News last week that she was in “a lot of pain” from the burns she sustained before her escape.

“I’ll take the medicine for him,” said his wife, who did not give her name. “He does not feel good. His face and hands (are burned).”

Magassouba resident Ibrahaima, 37, said a haircut may have saved his life. He works nights as an Uber driver and therefore usually sleeps during the day, but he got up early to go get a trim and was returned home but was still awake when the fire started.

“I came back, everything went well. I entered. Like two, three minutes, then I heard people running,” he said. “When I open the door there is smoke coming out everywhere. I had to run out. And then I saw the fire.

“It was the worst thing that ever happened to me in my life,” added Magassouba. “My neighbors have had it worse. We had to help them break the windows. No one walks out the door. Everyone had to go out the window.”

The man who escaped onto the awning was one of his friends, he said.

“He got burned on the face. His jacket got burned,” he said. “His face is peeling. … When he came out we had to put water on him.

Neighbors described the dilapidated building as a rat-infested crack den, but Magassouba described the victim who died as a young worker who moved to New York from Ohio and was trying to make ends meet.

Sakolly worked the night shift at a fried chicken restaurant and therefore slept most mornings, Magassouba said.

“He’s a good boy. … he lived alone. He is a hard worker,” Magassouba said. “That guy is a working guy. He doesn’t use drugs. He does nothing. The boy is good.

“We want justice done,” he added. “That boy will never come back. His family will never see him again, you know?”

Records indicate that the house should have been uninhabited. The city’s Buildings Department issued a full eviction order in 2018. Instead, it operated as an illegal boarding house, records show.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *