Building owner Al-Ashraf Khalil charged in blaze that killed firefighter

Building owner Al-Ashraf Khalil charged in blaze that killed firefighter

PHILADELPHIA — The proprietor of a Philadelphia constructing that caught fireplace and collapsed this month, killing a metropolis firefighter and injuring 5 different individuals, has been charged with setting the blaze, authorities introduced Tuesday.

Al-Ashraf Khalil, 28, additionally lied to authorities probing the June 18 fireplace and later flew from the USA to Jordan after telling investigators he had no journey plans, officers stated. Nevertheless, he was refused entry to Jordan and was arrested Friday at an airport in New York Metropolis. Authorities stated they used handcuffs that had the deceased firefighter’s initials on them.

Khalil’s lawyer, R. Emmett Madden, instructed The Philadelphia Inquirer that his shopper had no position in beginning the fireplace, including that “he has and can proceed helping totally on this ongoing investigation.”

The hearth killed Lt. Sean Williamson, 51, who was trapped within the rubble and pronounced lifeless on the scene. His funeral was held Monday.

Khalil and one other particular person — who has not been recognized and remains to be at massive — entered the restaurant’s basement doorways and began a hearth within the kitchen space, authorities stated, citing out of doors surveillance footage. Smoke is seen coming from the constructing a short while later.

Khalil was sporting distinctive striped sweatpants and black-and-white slides when he entered the constructing, and once more when he returned to the scene, authorities stated. Khalil allegedly instructed investigators on the scene that he had been at his Philadelphia residence when he obtained a name from a tenant within the flats he leased out above the pizza store, however officers say they decided he truly took that decision a number of blocks from the scene.

Footage from the arrest of Al-Ashraf Khalil at JFK over the weekend…handcuffs marked with Lt. Sean Williamson’s badge quantity and initials. Khalil stays in custody

— Kristen Johanson (KJ) (@KristenJohanson) June 28, 2022

Officers have stated that eight individuals had been safely evacuated from the upstairs flats and that the blaze was introduced underneath management inside an hour. However the constructing collapsed a short while later and trapped Williamson inside.

Authorities stated Tuesday that if convicted, Khalil may face a demise sentence.

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