A 63-year-old woman died in a house fire on Tuesday night, and now police have arrested a former resident of the house for the fatal blaze.
According to the Daily News, the victim's family members say the suspect, Rampersaud Persaud, 49, was an "ungrateful tenant" who was angry about being told to move out of the Queens Village home, after living there "rent-free for months with his girlfriend."
The police and FDNY responded to a fire at 88-20 219 Street just after 11 p.m. on September 3rd, and firefighters found Bibi Jasmin unconscious and unresponsive on the first floor. Jasmin was pronounced dead at the scene.
Surveillance video near the house shows a man pacing outside before the fire:
It's believed the fire was set with a flammable liquid.
Jasmin had been recovering from a stroke, and family members say she used a wheelchair. A neighbor told WCBS 2, "Even if she tried, she couldn’t make it out on her own, because she was there by herself. She had no chance to make it on her own. It’s very sad."
The Daily News reports that "about four months ago, Persaud and his girlfriend, Shan Shaw"—who is apparently Jasmin's niece—"showed up ...saying they’d come to New York from Guyana for a vacation, and didn’t have a place to live... That vacation turned into an indefinite stay."
Jasmin's daughter said, "They didn’t pay bills. They didn’t pay rent. They didn’t give her anything. She asked them to leave by August 31st," adding that Persaud "threatened to shoot her in the face three weeks ago. She called me the night before the fire, ‘The man here is abusing and harassing me. He’s cursing me and threatening my life.' I told her to call the police."
Persaud was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of arson.