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Fire Started by Corrections Officer Sent Two Children to the ICU, DA Says

By Dana Varinsky | August 31, 2013 10:37am
 Yvette Randolph, 43, was arrested after lighting a fire that scorched 375 Chauncey St., cops said.
Correction Officer Arrested for Starting Bed-Stuy Fire
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BROOKLYN CRIMINAL COURT — A New York City Department of Correction officer accused of lighting a fire in a Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment building was at fault for sending two children to the Intensive Care Unit and injuring 10 others, including a firefighter, prosecutors said.

Yvette Randolph, who was arraigned late Friday night on charges of arson, was seen coming and going from the 3-story building at the time of Thursday's fire, Assistant District Attorney Jordan Rossman said.

Randolph, 43, used to live in the 375 Chauncey St. apartment building with her ex-boyfriend, and started the fire in a hallway to get back at him, police and sources said.

The two children were admitted to the ICU due to ear burns and smoke inhalation, Rossman said. He added that a 13-year-old with second-degree burns and a 64-year-old woman with smoke inhalation are in stable condition.

The blaze affected all six apartments in the building, the FDNY said.

Randolph was found with a lighter in her pocket following the fire, Rossman said.

Defense attorney Peter Troxler cited Randolph’s work in the Bellevue Hospital Prison Ward as an example of her success as a correction officer. Troxler said the evidence against Randolph, a 12-year veteran of the Department of Correction, was circumstantial, since no witnesses or surveillance video caught her starting the fire.

Randolph appeared calm at the hearing. Her bail was set at $150,000.

Due to the nature of her work, she will be held in protective custody until her next appearance September 4.