A landlord from New York City, Rafiqul Islam, has been charged with arson and attempted murder after he allegedly set fire to his own property, occupied by a family who had ceased paying rent. The incident occurred in a Brooklyn apartment where the tenants had resided since May 2021 but had fallen behind on rent after a government rent support program concluded in January.
On September 26, Islam purportedly ignited the fire in the building’s stairwell early in the morning. At the time of the fire, eight individuals, including six children, were inside the apartment. All occupants managed to escape, but seven were hospitalized due to minor injuries sustained during the incident. The situation escalated after Islam had previously threatened to cut off utilities and warned the tenants he would “burn them out” if they did not vacate.
After an extensive investigation, authorities arrested Islam and charged him with eight counts of attempted murder, eight counts of assault, and a single count of arson. This arrest follows the tenants’ refusal to leave the apartment despite Islam’s demands and threats, culminating in this life-threatening act of retaliation.
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