An FDNY official confirmed the arrest (as well as age and gender) to EVG contributor Stacie Joy. We're told the charges include second-degree arson, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief for the 13-year-old, whose name was not released due to his age.
Officials and other sources said that the teen was seen leaving the shop minutes before management smelled smoke. Investigators were able to pull photos/videos from the store surveillance camera.
The fire destroyed Essex Card Shop, which moved here between Third Street and Fourth Street in June 2020 after 20 years on a storefront one block to the south.
Owner Muhammad Aslam has said he will reopen the business, which has collected more than $65,000 in a crowdfunding effort to help pay for expenses and lost income.
The fire also temporarily shuttered Downtown Yarns next door.
As previously noted, the stout cement ceiling and brick walls in the storefronts of the 13-floor Ageloff Towers served as a firebreak and prevented further damage to the building and adjacent businesses.