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Teen Sparked Massive Bronx Fire After Fight With Mom, FDNY Says

By Jess Wisloski | April 7, 2013 4:17pm

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS — A teenage girl was arrested and charged with arson Saturday night after fire marshals found she set the blaze that left 27 people homeless in the Bronx, officials said.

Princess Martinez, 19, is suspected of setting fire to a mattress in her apartment after getting into a fight with her mother, according to a Fire Department spokesman. Martinez was taken into custody by the FDNY and charged with felony arson, the spokesman said.

The three-alarm fire broke out at 9:55 a.m. Saturday, originating in Martinez's sixth-floor apartment at 2254 Cedar Ave.

It swiftly became a large blaze, spreading across dozens of apartments on the fifth and sixth floors, according to the Red Cross and fire officials. The Red Cross arranged temporary overnight housing for eight families, comprising 19 adults and eight children, a Red Cross spokesman said. 

The New York Post reported that Metropolitan Opera singer Andrey Namzer was one of the residents temporarily driven out by the fire. No residents suffered injuries, officials said.

Six firefighters were sent to area hospitals for minor injuries, two of whom were treated at Jacobi Medical Center for minor burns, fire officials said.