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15-year-old girl faces homicide, arson charges for deadly Bronx house fire

Emma Seiwell and John Annese, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

NEW YORK — A 15-year-old girl has been arrested for a shocking murder in which an accelerant was used to start a blaze in a Bronx boarding house that killed a stranger, according to cops.

The girl had a dispute with someone living in the rooming house — but not with the 27-year-old man who died in the fire after it grew out of control — police said.

Cop sources described the suspect as a chronic runaway who lives in Canandaigua, a small town near Rochester.

The victim was identified Sunday as Abdoukarim Sakolly. He died at the scene.

The suspect was nabbed Saturday in Midtown. She is charged with first-degree homicide and first-degree arson — along with assault, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief charges — for the Jan. 29 blaze. Her name was not released by the NYPD because she’s a juvenile.

At a Sunday night arraignment in Bronx Criminal Court, where the suspect sat in silence, a judge ordered her held without bail and scheduled a Monday hearing in juvenile court.


Prosecutors said the defendant often goes missing from a group home facility in Ontario County, New York, where an arrest warrant had been issued for her.

She was nabbed after residents of the building spotted her in Midtown and contacted police, cops said.

The teen was caught on surveillance footage walking into the illegally converted rooming house on Evergreen Ave. near Westchester Ave. in Soundview.

She had a bottle in her hand when she entered but left the building without it around 1:55 p.m., surveillance footage shows. Investigators believe she used an accelerant to light the blaze, which ripped through the two-story house.


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