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Ex-con quizzed in Harlem train fire that led to conductor's death is charged in earlier arson

Added 03-31-20 08:13:02pm EST - “Nathaniel Avinger, 49, is accused of starting a fire early March 11 outside Prentis Hall, a women's dorm on W. 125th St., cops said.” - Nydailynews.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Nydailynews.com: “Ex-con quizzed in Harlem train fire that led to conductor’s death is charged in earlier arson”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

A homeless ex-con questioned about the smokey fire that led to the death of a heroic Harlem train operator has been charged in an earlier arson at Columbia University, police said Tuesday.

Nathaniel Avinger, 49, is accused of starting a fire early March 11 outside Prentis Hall, a women’s dorm on W. 125th St., cops said. He’s expected to be released on a desk appearance ticket, an NYPD spokesman said.

Avinger is still a person of interest in Friday’s arson fire in a No. 2 train at the 110th St./Central Park North station, cops said. Hero MTA train operator Garrett Goble, 36, rushed commuters out of the train as the flames spread from a shopping cart throughout one of the subway cars.

A woman who identified herself as Avinger’s relative said he jumps from shelter to shelter, and has a brother in Houston.

“I haven’t spoken to him in a while. He’s mentally challenged. The last his brother saw him was a little over a year ago," she said. "It was winter and he was living in the subways. He didn’t have any shoes on, no coat, nothing. Somebody had stolen everything from him.”

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