DYKER HEIGHTS – The woman who sparked a fatal fire in an apartment on 11th Avenue last month has been indicted for arson and murder, the Attorney General’s office announced.
Joanna Mei, 22, allegedly set a fire in a trash can on the first floor, igniting a candle and newspapers before flipping over the can with the fire still burning. Mei was then seen on surveillance video leaving the building minutes before 911 calls went out.
The fire spread quickly, killing upstairs residents Xi Huang, 58, and Feng Xu, 56.
When Mei was arrested, traces of an accelerant were found on her shoes.
“The alleged actions of this defendant displayed a complete and callous disregard for human life, and caused two tragic but avoidable deaths,” said Acting District Attorney Gonzalez. “We will now seek justice for the victims and their loved ones for the heartbreaking loss that they suffered.”
Mei is charged with two counts of second degree murder and two counts of first degree arson. She is being held without bail and will return to court in February 2018. If convicted, she faces 25 to life in prison.