11-year-old sets 2 New York homes ablaze with fireworks, man charged with arson

NEW YORK — A Long Island man who authorities said gave fireworks to an 11-year-old, who then set two homes on fire, has been arrested on arson charges and related offenses, police said Friday.

Karamjit Singh, 33, is accused of giving the child fireworks outside his home in Levittown, in the Town of Hempstead, on the morning of July 4, Nassau County police said in a news release.

According to authorities, Singh instructed the child to ignite the fireworks, but a “malfunction” set fire to a detached shed, which “became engulfed in flames.”

The fire then spread to Singh’s house on Red Maple Drive North and eventually to a neighbor’s home.

The Wantagh Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fires, officials said. While no injuries were reported, both homes suffered “extensive damage,” according to police.

A tenant living on the second floor of Singh’s home was displaced “due to the damages,” authorities said.

Singh was arrested without incident by the Nassau County’s Arson Bomb Squad. He faces charges of second-degree arson, fourth-degree reckless endangerment, unlawfully selling of fireworks to someone under 18, unlawfully possessing fireworks and endangering the welfare of a child.

The 11-year-old was released to a family member. The relationship between Singh and the child is unclear. It’s also not known exactly what type of fireworks caused the blaze.

Singh was scheduled to be arraigned Friday at First District Court in Hempstead.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, thousands of people in the U.S., most often children and teens, are injured when using consumer fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday.

Overall, fireworks cause more than 31,000 fires annually — and children 15 or younger account for nearly 30% of the estimated injuries, according to data released last year.