Bail set at $100,000 for alleged failed-suicide arsonist
Abdul Jabar Mohamed, 28, was arraigned today in his bed in the Mass. General burn unit, where he is being treated for serious burns authorities say he suffered when he tampered with the gas line in a Roxbury apartment in an attempt to kill himself, sparking a six-alarm fire that damaged apartments in seven connected buildings.
Roxbury District Court Judge David Weingarten set bail at $100,000 on charges of assault with intent to murder, arson of a dwelling, igniting a destructive device or substance, malicious destruction of property, and causing injury to a firefighter, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports. Prosecutors had sought bail of $500,000.
Assistant District Attorney Dana Pierce said Mohamed went to some effort to start the fire that burned dozens out of their apartments - and led to a dramatic rescue when a woman dropped her six-year-old grandson to fall into the arms of a firefighter three stories below. In a statement, the DA's office said:
Mohamed pulled the relative's gas stove away from the wall, then reached behind it and wrenched away a pipe leading from the stove to the building's gas main. When the pipe was "twisted, mangled, and broken away" from the stove, he allegedly set it alight with an open flame. The power of the explosion knocked away part of the building’s exterior facing Wardman Road and Westminster Avenue.
"The fire extended vertically and engulfed all three floors," Pierce said at the arraignment. "It spread horizontally about 100 feet, encompassing most of the roof."
The Boston Business Journal reports that Urban Edge, which develops low and moderate-income housing, is trying to find new places to live for the 70 residents currently without homes.