Parkchester teen pleads not guilty to setting fire that killed two on Glover St.
Hasan Mohammad, 15, pleaded not guilty Monday to arson, reckless endangerment and two counts of second-degree murder. Mohammad is accused of setting the fire that killed two of his neighbors in Parkchester last month. Two women, 41-year-old Brenda Casanova and 20-year-old Maria Cruz, died in the fire on Glover Street. Several other tenants were also injured in the blaze, including two boys ages two and 15. Hasan's father, 45-year-old Mohammad Abdul Karim, says the boy had been depressed and suicidal when he set the blaze, but had not intended to kill anyone. Fire marshals determined that the fire was set with an accelerant such as gasoline and had spread from the second floor to the third floor. Six firefighters on their way to the blaze were injured when their fire engine collided with two cars. Three car occupants were also hurt in the collision.