Manhattan fire - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Man charged with murder, arson in SoHo fire

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The NYPD has arrested and charged a man with murder and arson in connection with a deadly five-alarm fire in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan.

Witnesses told police they saw Wei Chu Wu, 45, start the fire Thursday night after an argument he had with his child's mother.

One person was killed and two suffered minor injuries, the FDNY confirmed. The woman and child are safe, the AP reported. The body that was found was so badly charred that responders could not tell the victim's gender, according to a report.

Wu was charged Friday with arson in the first degree, murder in the second degree, attempted assault on a police officer or fireman, and resisting arrest, the NYPD said.

The fire started on the second floor where Wu lived at about 6:30 p.m., spread through the upper floors, and punched through the roof of a five-story building at 41 Spring Street, the FDNY said.

Wu fought with a police officer and firefighters who were trying to enter the building, according to police.

The suspect was treated at a hospital for bruises and a police officer was treated for a broken hand, reported the AP.

More than 160 firefighters responded to the scene and brought the fire under control in about three hours.

Police closed Spring Street between Lafayette Street and Elizabeth Street; and Mulberry Street between Kenmare Street and East Houston Street, according to the Office of Emergency Management's Twitter feed.

Witnessed said thick smoke engulfed several blocks in the neighborhood.

American Red Cross disaster responders arrived at the scene to assist displaced residents.

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