Man charged with arson, murder in deadly Bronx fire in 2018: NYPD

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BELMONT, the Bronx — Police arrested a man on Friday in connection with a 2018 fire in the Bronx that left two people dead and injured nine others.

Edward Garcia, 47, was charged with arson and multiple counts of murder, according to the NYPD.

Garcia is accused of setting fire to a five-story apartment building on Hoffman Street, near East 184th Street in Belmont, on March 5, 2018, police said.

The fire began just after 1:30 a.m. on the first floor of the building and quickly spread up to the top floor as heavy, thick smoke clogged the halls and billowed into the air.

Jordan Conde, 14, and Roberto Archeval Cortez, 41, were pronounced dead at a hospital, according to police. Nine others, including some FDNY personnel, were injured in the blaze.

At the time, a representative of the landlord said the two victims lived in a second-floor apartment. Police on Friday deemed their deaths a double homicide.

A senior FDNY official said the residents of the apartment where the fire started didn’t close the door behind them, allowing the fire to quickly spread to the hallway and upper floors.

Garcia’s current address was listed as a shelter on Randall’s Island, according to police. It was not immediately clear if he previously lived in the Hoffman Street building or how he was connected to the apartment where the fire started.

Garcia was being held at the city’s Rikers Island jail complex pending a May 13 court date. Information on his arraignment and bail was not immediately available.

This story comprises reporting from PIX11’s James Ford and Anthony DiLorenzo as well as The Associated Press.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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