17 people were injured — including one person seriously — after an emotionally disturbed woman started a fire inside her apartment in Harlem, officials said.
It happened on the 14th floor of a 21-story New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) building on Amsterdam Ave. near West 125th St., investigators said.
Police said they responded to a 911 call of an emotionally disturbed person around 5:29 p.m.
When officers arrived, the 50-year-old woman barricaded herself inside her apartment and started the fire around 6:34 p.m., officials said.
First responders were able to enter the apartment and remove her. 11 police officers and four EMTs suffered minor injuries due to the fire, officials said.
It is not clear if the person seriously hurt is the woman who started the fire.
The fire was extinguished less than two hours later.
Multiple officers have been discharged from a local hospital as of the time of this writing.
The woman suffered burns to her body and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. She is in custody at a local hospital, police said.
Residents of the building said the woman had just been released from the hospital before the fire.
"She had a mental issue. They should have never let her out at that time. She wasn't ready to come out, and this is the result of what happens when our system fails us," one woman said. "It's ridiculous. They know she's bipolar, schizophrenic, and she shouldn't be alone."
"All I know is that lady is a very nice person," another resident said. "She has mental problems, but she did not deserve it."