A New York City woman has been indicted on arson charges for her role in the large fire that displaced dozens of people and badly damaged a mixed-use building on Cianci Street in Paterson, according to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.
Yanit Valdez, 37-year-old, has been indicted on two counts of second-degree aggravated arson, four counts of third-degree aggravated assault, and fourth-degree creating a risk of widespread injury by a Passaic County grand jury.
Valdez is allegedly responsible for the August 3, 2020 fire that engulfed 40 Cianci Street. 60 people were displaced from the multi-unit apartment building. Several businesses that were housed in the lower floor sustained damage.
Four firefighters and one civilian were injured.
Valdez allegedly lit paper towels on fire inside an apartment after an argument with a resident of 40 Cianci Street. That caused a couch in the apartment to catch on fire. Fire then spread to the many other apartments, authorities said.
Valdez could face decades in state prison if convicted.