Teen charged with arson after Essex Card Shop fire in the East Village

EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A 13-year-old boy was charged with arson, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief for allegedly setting the fire that burned through an East Village card shop earlier this month.

The boy, being hustled out of the Essex Card Shop by an older woman, was the last customer the manager saw before the flames erupted.

The suspect is not being identified due to his age, and further details have not been released.

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It all comes as the community bands together in an effort to save the family-owned small business that is now unrecognizable.

"Having your dreams burn down right in front of your eyes....it's hard," owner Saba Aslam said.

The Aslam family poured their hearts and souls into making their business different for decades, and that kind of New York City shop where you could find just about anything.

But from the ashes came something beautiful. Loyal customers posted, calling it a beloved institution and the heart and soul of the neighborhood.

So far, a GoFundMe has raised nearly $70,000, money they will use to rebuild.

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