Police arrested a Bronx teenager who they say set fire to her own apartment, which then spread to others in the building.
Princess Martinez, 19, was arrested on Sunday for starting the blaze that completely destroyed several apartments and damaged others.
She is being charged with second degree arson, which is a felony.
Her motive is unclear at this time.
The fire started on the top floor of a six story building on Cedar Avenue in University Heights just before 10 a.m.
It took an hour and a half to get it under control, but by then the flames had spread to a few apartments on the 5th floor.
The Red Cross says it housed eight families overnight.
Nine other families either declined housing help or were able to return to their apartments.
"I heard a shout and a slam and I think some people were running out off the floor. And I went to the door and I looked through the peep hole and I saw black smoke. It almost looked like someone's back was towards the peep hole, that's how black it was," one resident said. "Gonna have to travel light for a while. And they set us up with a hotel room now and I'm just going to have to take it one step at a time."
"I feel bad for my neighbor -- he lost everything," another resident said. "When I say everything, he lost everything, as far as you can see. You can see above the sky."
Six firefighters were treated for minor injuries.