Firefighters said they rescued 15 people trapped on the top floor of the three-story brick building Monday, including a young child who was dropped from a window into the arms of a fireman as fast-moving flames engulfed the structure shortly after midnight, The Boston Globe reported.
Police said a man was arrested after he showed up at Boston Medical Center with burns, allegedly saying he had blown up his house. He was charged with arson and attempted murder.
Officials said at least 42 apartments were damaged or destroyed.
Judith Lamb said the smoke was so heavy on the third floor that she had to hold her 6-year-old grandson, Xavier, out the window to keep him safe. Unable to maintain her grip until a ladder could reach her, Lamb dropped the child to firefighters waiting three stories below, the newspaper said.