UPDATE: Police have charged a Medford man with arson and attempted murder for what they say was a botched suicide attempt.
A gas explosion that blew out the wall of an apartment started a massive fire that raced through a series of connected Roxbury apartment buildings around 12:45 a.m., leaving residents in one building trapped by flames on the third floor - from which they tossed a young boy to firefighters below. The rest were led to safety via an extended ladder from a firetruck.
A man was arrested at Boston Medical Center and charged with setting the fire, which spread across seven buildings on Wardman Street, Waldman Road and Westminster Avenue, the Boston Fire Department reports:
An adult male went to Boston Medical Center with burns. He made certain statements on how he got the burns. Investigators went to the hospital. Based on statements made, this person will be arrested and charged with arson of a dwelling.
Channel 5 reports the man told police he tampered with a gas main and lit his lighter. He's at Mass. General with third-degree burns.
Some 11 residents were taken to the hospital with smoke inhalation; at least two firefighter were injured. An hour after the blaze began, 135 firefighters were on scene.