Image: Brooklyn building fire
Julie Jacobson  /  ASSOCIATED PRESS
New York City police officers block off an intersection as fire marshals look through debris while investigating a fatal fire in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Saturday.
updated 2/2/2010 5:33:53 PM ET 2010-02-02T22:33:53

A fire in a Brooklyn apartment building that killed five Guatemalan immigrants was set by a drunken resident who tossed a lighted toilet paper roll soaked in paint thinner into a baby carriage, police said.

Daniel Ignacio, 27, was arrested Tuesday on charges of second-degree murder and arson, police spokesman Paul Browne said.

Ignacio told investigators he went upstairs and slept as flames erupted near the front door of the building, which housed a restaurant on its ground floor and apartments upstairs. Ignacio later managed to escape the flames, authorities said.

Investigators were looking at several possible motives, Browne said.

The fire early Saturday was the city's deadliest since a 2007 fire killed 10 people in the Bronx. Four men and a woman, all Guatemalan immigrants, died in the Brooklyn blaze.

Luisa Chan, the only victim identified so far, and her husband, Miguel, who escaped, tried to lower their 2-month-old daughter, Maria, out of a window in a car seat, but the baby fell out and suffered a fractured skull. She remained in critical condition but was expected to survive.

The families of the other victims had not been officially notified.

Flames quickly engulfed the three-story building, consuming the Japanese restaurant on the ground floor and two apartments on the upper floors. The stairwell between the floors collapsed, as well as part of the roof, trapping residents.

As many as 20 people lived in the building, which did not have adequate smoke detectors, officials said.

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