From Eyewitness News:
A resident of the Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, building that went up in flames, killing five, was taken into custody for allegedly setting the fatal blaze.
Authorities say 29-year-old Daniel Ignacio was taken into custody Tuesday morning and was being questioned in Brooklyn.
No charges were immediately filed.
However, Ignacio reportedly made statements linking himself to the fire. No other suspects are currently being sought.
Authorities say that after setting the fire, Ignacio turned around and rescued some residents from the burning building, including a baby.
The suspect was identified by detectives who saw him on video helping the residents escape the flames. They have reportedly seen him around the building in the days following the blaze.
The current theory is Ignacio got drunk and set fire to a baby carriage in the front stairwell of the building. He then realized what he had done and began rescuing residents from the fast-moving flames.
The motive does not appear to be a vendetta, as detectives initially speculated.
And from the Daily News:
"He's been down on himself," the source said. "He was drinking all day, Friday into Saturday, went into the hallway and set a baby carriage on fire. He confessed, but he said he didn't think (the building) would go up like that."
From the NY Times:
Mr. Ignacio’s time in New York was reflected in different recollections; some remembered him as an occasional churchgoer who seemed a decent sort; others recalled that he had been arrested before, and deported.
The authorities confirmed that Mr. Ignacio was arrested in Brooklyn in January 2002 after a woman saw him leaving her window. He was caught with her wallet, a pink plastic comb and a pen.
Convicted of burglary, he spent 10 months in jail; upon his release, he was deported to Guatemala on Oct. 31, 2003, said Lou Martinez, a spokesman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
Investigators said they believed he had come back to the United States through Mexico about a year ago.
“Obviously, he is in the country illegally,” Mr. Martinez said. “Now that we know he is back in the country, he is considered an illegal re-entry after deportation and that’s a federal crime.”
If convicted on the arson and murder charges, he will serve his time and then be turned over to federal immigration officials “for removal proceedings or to be prosecuted federally,” Mr. Martinez said. “But that’s a long way away.”
I love my sanctuary city...