2006_07_fire.jpgAuthorities believe that a Tuesday night fire that spread through row houses in Jamaica was caused by arson. An 83 year old man, James Crocker, who lived at 103-17 169th Street died in the blaze; his family said he was too scared to jump from his second floor window. Crocker's son's girlfriend, Alexandra Roberts, suffered burns on 90% of her body.

The fire started in two rooms at the house next door, 103-15 169th Street, and two female tenants there had been evicted after months of arguments with the landlord. A police source put it to the Daily News as, "The landlord wanted the tenant out, and the tenant didn't want to go." The NY Times reports that the tenants hadn't paid rent for six months. The building's owner, Gerald Brown, said if he could have changed locks on the apartment, "this never would have happened" (the police told him he couldn't change the locks). The police are looking for the two women, one of whom was allegedly standing on the street Tuesday night, saying she didn't start the fire.