Emotionally disturbed woman allegedly set fire that injured police, EMTs in Harlem

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- Several people are hurt after an emotionally disturbed woman allegedly set a fire inside her apartment in Harlem.

The fire broke out on the 14th floor of 21-story NYCHA building on Amsterdam Ave. near 125th St. around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

When the fire was out and the smoke had cleared, and people were heading back to their homes, some still wondered why it had to happen at all. Why wasn't something done?

Police officers, firefighters, EMTs were all hurt and several floors of the building were evacuated when a 50-year-old woman with a history of emotional issues barricaded herself inside her apartment and apparently stared a fire. Police were already there trying to get her to come out.

The woman who investigators believe started the fire is in critical condition.

11 police officers and four EMS workers were injured in the fire after they suffered from smoke inhalation. Another civilian, a man, is in serious but stable condition.

Neighbors say she had started other fires in the past and the fire department acknowledges they have been to the building before. Tuesday night's fire was far worse.

The woman is now facing a charge of arson.
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