2003-02-01 / Front Page

Arverne Arson Fire Guts Two Homes

By Howard Schwach

By Howard Schwach

A raging two-alarm fire gutted two Arverne homes on Tuesday morning, injuring six firefighters and one resident, leaving a Rockaway woman under arrest for two counts of arson.

Officials at the office of the NYPD's Deputy Commissioner for Public Information told The Wave that Evida Ford, 43, was arrested for setting fire to a neighbor's home at 617 Beach 68 Street. Ford, who reportedly has a history of mental illness, allegedly poured gasoline on the two-story house. The fire, however, quickly spread to Ford's Mother's home at 621 Beach 68 Street. Ford is listed at that address as well. The fast-moving fire destroyed both homes.

Fire Department officials say that the fire call came at 9:55 a.m. and that the fire was declared under control by 10:51 p.m.

Six firefighters were taken to Peninsula Hospital Center with minor injuries, treated and released.


After the fire was extinguished, a 73-year-old tenant in Ford's home told EMS workers that she had chest pains and she was transported to Peninsula Hospital Center as well, where she remained in stable condition under observation at press time.

Ford was taken to St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway for evaluation and observation.





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