By Maria Rocha-Buschel
A 24-year-old man was arrested after allegedly setting fires inside Bellevue Hospital.
Police said that a security guard saw Jason Peterson-Ridge on video surveillance starting multiple fires on three different floors shortly after he was discharged as a patient at the hospital on September 24 at 10 p.m.
According to the Manhattan district attorney’s office, Peterson-Ridge approached a hand sanitizer stand inside the hospital and filled the catching tray with hand sanitizer, then lit the vapors, causing them to ignite and start a fire.
The FDNY said that the fire caused the dispenser to melt, resulting in damage to the floor and additionally caused charring to the wall and smoke damage to the wall and ceiling.
Police said that he fled to his apartment nearby, where he was arrested a few hours later at 1:46 a.m.
Peterson-Ridge’s attorney could not be reached for comment.