Man Accused Of Arson In Deadly Hell’s Kitchen Fire

HELL’S KITCHEN, NY — A 28-year-old man has been arrested and charged with arson for allegedly starting a fire that killed another man inside his Hell’s Kitchen apartment earlier this month, police said Wednesday.

The fire was reported around 9:49 a.m. on Sept. 4, inside a third-floor apartment at 855 9th Avenue.

After crews extinguished the fire, they found 37-year-old Michael Hannant, who lived in the apartment, unconscious and unresponsive, suffering from smoke inhalation. Paramedics brought Hannant to Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead five days later.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury, multiple outlets reported at the time.

Just over an hour after the fire was reported, police arrested Sadam Assana, 28, who lived about five blocks south of Hannant on 9th Avenue.

In court filings, police allege that Assana, Hannant and Hannant’s roommate had been having a conversation in the apartment until around 5:30 a.m., and that the roommate fell asleep later that morning. The roommate awoke to find her room on fire but managed to escape, police said.

The filings allege that Assana told an FDNY lieutenant that he used a lighter to start the fire, and that the lieutenant found the lighter in Assana’s pocket.

Assana was charged with arson and attempted arson, and Hannant’s death was deemed a homicide, police said.

Assana was arraigned Sept. 5 and is next due in court Oct. 6.

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